According to the Encyclopedia of Early Christianity, “The exact date of Christ’s birth is not known.” Why, then, I’ve often wondered, is Christmas celebrated just one week ahead of the New Year? Is it to allow for an extended holiday season? Does it have anything to do with Constantine, the first Christian Roman Emperor or Pope Julius I? Theories abound, but only one thing is certain – history rests in the hands of our maker, and with Him, there are no coincidences / mistakes.
A mere half hour watching the news today is enough to fill one with despair at the greed and selfishness of world leaders, the depravity and wickedness of fellow man and the utter devastation of the downtrodden and struggling. Before we know it, we find ourselves trudging through life one day at a time, all hope for a better tomorrow fast diminishing with each passing second.
But something happens on the eve of a New Year. No matter how rough the past twelve months, we dig deep down and rustle up anticipation for a new beginning come Jan 1. Maybe, just maybe this next year will be the best one yet… While there’s nothing wrong with looking forward to a happier year, it is even better to base our hope on the one foundation that is sure.
Every announcement heralding Jesus’ arrival on earth expressed God’s intention towards mankind – peace, goodwill, salvation. In a time when cruel Roman oppression made the future look bleak all around, Jesus came forth as a shining beacon of hope for better times ahead.
Jesus coming in the flesh provides us with real hope – one more solid than a fingers crossed wishfulness driven by the calendar.
As we set our New Year resolutions for 2016, may we not forget to forge a commitment to take hold of the hope Jesus holds out. Drawing closer to the Savior of our souls and seeking Him more truly will cause this hope to abound, flourish and spring us into an eternal certainty.
Happy New Year, my fellow Wordzpreadians and be blessed!