I suspect one of the reasons we like New Year’s Day is that we like new beginnings. In that, we’re not alone. God likes new beginnings, too, apparently.
For example, He established a thing called the Jubilee for Israel. Among the various aspects of this year-long celebration that occurred every fifty years was the opportunity for debts to be forgiven, slaves set free, and those who had sold their homes to once again take possession of them. These provisions allowed many people to have a new beginning.
God showed His love for new beginnings when He brought Israel out of slavery and led them into the land He had promised Abraham. He showed it again when He brought a remnant of the nation back to their land after their exile.
Most obviously, however, God showed His love for new beginnings by His plan of salvation. His forgiveness of sins gives each person who believes in and puts his trust in what Jesus did at the cross a new beginning with God.
No longer does He look at us as aliens and strangers but as friends and sons or daughters. No longer do our iniquities—the stuff we know we shouldn’t do, but we end up doing anyway—separate us from God. We have a new beginning, a record that says the guilt we incurred has been taken care of and we aren’t in debt after all.
We have a new beginning, a spotless record, one that stays that way because God’s idea of a new beginning isn’t one that becomes old after five minutes. He renews our new beginning as often as we need it—which if we’re honest, is pretty often.
God shows His love for new beginnings also in His promise to give us new resurrected bodies in our life after life.
Of course His Grand New Beginning is His plan for a new Heaven and a new earth.
So as the New Year approaches, may the horns and fireworks and champagne bubbles and Auld Lang Syne and the New York Time Square Ball all remind us of God’s love for new beginnings. As a result, may He give us hope for 2017, no matter what the personal or political or economic or social circumstances we may encounter.
This post is an edited version of one that first appeared here in December 2012.