Happy new year, all ye early morning flowers



This flower greeted me this fine morning on this quiet day, no sound in the street or in the house, just this orangish smile and me.

And so I greet all on this cheery January 1st, as we thank God for the year past, for another day of life, for the prospect of another year.

Beginnings inspire, do they not? And none more than the beginning of a new year, which the Lord has marked for us with the lights in the sky, and which all mankind, from ancients to moderns, has recognized and celebrated.

Though the establishment of ending and beginning dates has varied from one culture to another, the year time is coded into the universe, and man has been amazingly precise at observing it.

According to the Bible, there was never a year when man was not on earth to experience the times of years, except for a period of two days, between the fourth day when God created the lights in the expanse of the heavens “for signs and for seasons, and for days and years” Gen 1.14 ESV, and the sixth when man made his appearance.

Men, however, meaning you and I, come and go throughout the years. We foolishly count on having many years to live, as did one rich fool. “And I will say to myself, ‘You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!’” Lk 12.19. We all know how that story ended. Not well.

But while life beats in our chests, great and wonderful desires drive us. Paul never lost sight of the mission of God going westward, as he told the Romans, “I have for many years desired to come to you when I go to Spain” Rm 15.23. Some soon let that mission die, but it ought to remain throughout the years.

It’s fine to mark seasons, times, and years, unless it becomes a merit-attempting religious exercise. Paul warned the Galatians that his effort among them would all be in vain, “You are observing religious days and months and seasons and years” Gl 4.10. The calendar can become our idol.

Our living by years distinguishes us from the Most High. The truth causes great joy: “But you remain; your years do not come to an end” Psa 102.27 NET. The same is said of the Son, Hb 1.12. The Hebrew document begins and ends with this truth. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!” 13.8.

I’ve chosen to attach my passage of years through this world to his sameness, to his once-for-all valid sacrifice, to his eternity. How about you?

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

What do you think?