When I was young, making new year’s resolutions was a big thing, the subject of many discussions and a topic that generated much interest. This year I haven’t heard a single mention of them. Perhaps we’ve all been round that loop so many times and have learned that we abandon whatever our pledges were by the end of the first week of January, so we no longer bother.
But as I write this piece, I have in mind one of the Morning Prayer readings set for today, from Colossians 3 vs 1-11, part of which reads as follows ‘you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator’, and I’m reminded of the wonder of invitation to new starts and fresh beginnings that God sets out for us.
An invitation to take up a ‘new self’, renewed by the one who says in Isaiah 43 ‘see I am doing a new thing, now it springs up! Do you not perceive it?’ and in 2 Corinthians that ‘if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come; the old has gone, the new is here!’
God invites us to become a new creation, not merely people focused on minor tweaks in lifestyle but a people bathed in grace, energised, lifted; those ‘who hope in the Lord’ and who will in return ‘soar on wings like eagles, run and not grow weary, walk and not be faint’.
That’s the energy and vision I’d pray we embrace in 2022. Not forcing ourselves to do more and strive harder, not a tweaking at the edges of our lives to give the impression of transformation that soon fades, but rather an abandonment into the grace that surrounds and suffuses us with peace, calm and hope, that renews our strength and cheers our hearts and enables us to gaze with confidence towards the months and year ahead.
May you be blessed as you bless others in the year to come, may the Lord bring you peace and may you feel something of the joy of new beginnings.