If you’ve been around Trinity for any length of time, you’re  probably used to hearing me say, “Happy New Year” in late  November or early December on the first Sunday of Advent. The  Christian Year – as opposed to the Gregorian calendar year or the  school year – starts on the first Sunday in Advent, not on January  1 or on some day near the beginning of September. I like to  remind myself and everybody else about the beginning of the  Christian Year because it is a reminder that we, as God’s people,  are not slaves to the world’s calendar. Time is a gift from God that  we are given to use for God’s glory, to accomplish good work, to  bless others, and to enjoy God’s beautiful world.  

 Having more than one “New Year’s Day” is also a reminder  that we really start new every day. As the cliché goes, “Today is  the first day of the rest of your life.” We always have the  opportunity to start fresh, to launch something new, to change the  way things are, and to invite God to change us.  

 “There is something beautiful (and hard) about starting  over. It requires courage and perseverance, but it can also be  freeing. Realizing you have to do this every day makes you aware  of the distractions. It keeps you sharp. Prevents you from  becoming lazy” (Jeff Goins on goinswriter.com). The world around  us is constantly changing. These days, it is changing faster than it  ever has before. All of life is moving faster than ever before. If  we’re going to keep up, if we’re going to have an impact, we have  to take advantage of the opportunity to start something that  matters. The reminder that today – every day – is a new day can  help with that.  

 A few years ago, I did a mock interview as part of a video  training at our local cable access channel. (Yes, I was trying to  learn some video skills so that Trinity will look a little better on  YouTube.) I was asked the question, “What matters most in this  world?” I paraphrased C.S. Lewis and answered, “People.  Everything else will fade away. Things do not last forever, but, by  the grace of God, people do.” The woman who was being  interviewed with me was asked the same question. She looked  thoughtfully at the interviewer and said, “I would have to agree  with that. People matter.” 

When each new day starts, when you get to start over,  remember what matters. The fact that you are a child of God  matters. The reality that God loves this broken world is significant.  The truth that you are a Holy Spirit-filled follower of Jesus has a  bearing on how you live. People matter. In the rush to “get things  done,” to “follow the rules,” to “make what I have to make,” we  can forget what is really important. It happens to all of us. The  good news is that tomorrow is a new day, a fresh beginning.  Happy New Year.

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