New Year Blog 1: Begin Again

Staff_team_2015 Posted by Roger Cooke on Sun, 01 Jan 2017 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

And the one sitting on the throne said, "Look, I am making everything new!” (Rev 21:5)

I love a new beginning – a chance to start afresh! Whether it’s the beginning of January and a new year, a new ‘term’ in September, a new challenge, or even a new notebook…I delight in a blank page – the chance to forget what’s gone before, to reset and to go again.

Among the many new, unread books on my bookshelves, there’s an array of great little hard-backed, unlined notebooks (I’ve always had a thing for stationery) with writing on only the opening pages: notes from Bible studies and Christian books that only got so far, journals and diaries whose early promise was never fulfilled.

In some senses, I suppose these notebooks could be seen as a catalogue of false dawns. But the fact that I seem to struggle to ‘follow-through’ on fresh initiatives hasn’t yet quashed my optimism or deterred me from the act of beginning anew. In fact, it probably adds to the whole experience.

I opened an unused notebook today, as I set out on another new quest: to read the Bible in one year as part of a Community Bible Experience at my church. The requirement for today, Day 1 of the plan, was to read the opening chapters of Genesis, Acts and the Psalms. Three new beginnings! One, which tells us about the beginning of our world – a beginning that began with God. Another, whose concern is the birth of the Christian Church. And a third – the start of a poetic journey through an unfolding relationship with God. It includes these words:

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither –
whatever they do prospers.

At this time of year, it’s not unusual to receive hearty wishes for a ‘prosperous new year.’ I wonder what meaning is conveyed in this greeting?

As we look ahead to a new year, the Psalmist tells us how we can truly prosper…By delighting in, and meditating on, the Word of God.

Such is my lack of discipline and resolve, I’m pretty sure I’ll not manage to stick to my daily programme of Bible readings. But after one day, I’m up to date! If this challenge helps me to spend more time in God’s Word than in previous years, it’ll be worth this new start.

In 2017, may we each try to meditate on the law of the Lord and seek fresh encounters with the Living Word. Then we will prosper!

Happy New Year!

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