You’ll be reading this probably on the first Sunday of February, the second month of this new year of 2015. New starts are always exciting and attractive. It always amused me that at the start of every new term at school, especially at the start of the autumn term, how neat and tidy the children’s books would be for the first few weeks, then normality would take over, and the neatness didn’t last much longer! Let’s hope that doesn’t happen to us in the quality of our Christian lives.
The Bible is full of new beginnings, and I just want to write briefly about three of them in this letter – a new day, a new song and a new birth. We wake up every morning to a new day, and we should thank God for it. Whatever happened yesterday has gone, tomorrow hasn’t come, but today is here and we should live it to the best of our abilities. No matter how young or old we are, and some of us are getting on in years with plenty of aches and pains, we can rejoice in another day and make the most of it. Live it to the full and use the time in a way which is positive and helpful to others. No need to preach a sermon, but live it in a way that Jesus would wish us to do. How fortunate we are to live in a place where we see the glory of God’s creation everywhere about us as we wake up every morning.
Secondly, we read a number of times, especially in the psalms about singing a new song. We are told to “sing a new song”, God puts “a new song in my heart”. There should be a great joy in being a Christian. The word “gospel” means “good news”, and we have the best news of all to sing about, to ourselves and to others. We all have voices, and we all know the sheer joy, the emotion, the exhilaration of singing our great hymns together, so many of them, from the old to the new ones. But let’s always think of the words we’re singing, for they are more important than the tunes, however wonderful they may be – “born that man no more may die! From 1739, to “There is a new song in my mouth, hallelujah”, written in 2001 – even newer ones too.
So, a new day, a new song, and lastly a new birth, however that comes about. Jesus said to Nicodemus “you must be born again” to enter the kingdom of Heaven, and so it has to be for every one of us. For some people we know they can say, “Yes, I know exactly the moment, the time and the date when that happened for me”. For many others of us it has been a different, longer journey, but for every one there still has to be the definite decision made when we acknowledge and proclaim Jesus as Lord. It is the most important decision any of us has ever to make, that we make certain as David so often declares that we can claim our place with Christ in eternity. Then indeed we become “a new creation”.
So, as we’re often told down the garage, I say to you all – “Have a good day”.