Christmas - Check
New Years - Check
I love that we celebrate the birth of Jesus right before we begin a new year. Every year on January 1st people begin their "New year's resolution." There is always something that we want to do differently in our lives...something that we want to change about ourselves. Sometimes that is giving up bad habits, sometimes that is starting good ones. Regardless, at the beginning of every year people across the world take a deep breath, put the past behind them, and start fresh.
That is what the birth of Jesus brought with it. A sense of newness and freshness. For thousdands of years people were enslaved by the bondage of laws. Their good deeds were never good enough and their best efforts were always short of what they needed in order to enter into the presence of God. Sacrifice after sacrifice had to be made in order to make up for their inability to reach their perfection. In the midst of our sinful nature was a deep desire for a rescue. This world cried out to God in desperation. We needed a super hero. We needed somebody to reach down and save us from the mess that we had created.
God heard the moans of his children and sent Jesus to erase the gap of imperfection. With the birth of Jesus came the greatest relief this world has ever known. Our God is so good. He created all of the grandness of this universe and even made sure to give us unnecessary details like individual thumbprints and millions of different sunsets. This same God has planned since the beginning of our creation to save us through the sending of his own Son. He met us in the midst of our broken world, born in an animal's trough, with the sole purpose of dying to become our never-ending, always perfect, always fulfilling sacrifice. God became Emmanuel. God with us. God within us. He gave people the ability to have brand new years. To start over.
Let's celebrate our new year with the celebration of Christmas in mind. It is only through Jesus that we can find freedom from this world. This year Satan will bring up past regrets, he will pick at our deepest hurts, and he will twist our minds to believe that Jesus is not enough. We will have days when the car (or van) won't start, when your kids are crying, and work doesn't feel like everything you hoped it will be. There will be days when we lose loved ones, when our hearts feel shattered, and when hope feels beyond reach. But if we can just fight to remember that Jesus came to save us from all of this hurt and disappointment and that one day he will wipe away every tear from our eyes, we will be aight.
Happy New Year!