New beginnings

Pastor Ron Burcham, Risen Savior Lutheran Church

Pastor Ron Burcham, Risen Savior Lutheran Church

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A new year brings a new start! It may just be a day on the calendar, but the passing of one year and beginning of a new one is a chance to make a new beginning.

According the web site a University of Scranton study discovered the top ten resolutions are as follows:

1. Lose Weight

2. Getting organized

3. Spend less, save more

4. Enjoy life to the fullest

5. Staying fit and healthy

6. Learn something exciting

7. Quit smoking

8. Help others in their dreams

9. Fall in love

10. Spend more time with family

Among the other statistics of this study, there was one in particular that I found very interesting; 38 percent of Americans “absolutely never make resolutions.” Now, that made me wonder. Why would 38 percent of Americans respond so strongly when asked about making resolutions? Perhaps they are tired of being disappointed believing that most resolutions are never kept. After all, who wants to start a new diet on January 1, only to fall off the wagon by January 2 – someone had to finish that fruitcake that Aunt Joan sent us! Who wants to vow to get organized, only to get overwhelmed when they look in the garage?

There was another statistic in the study that I found alarming; 39 percent of those in their 20’s keep their resolutions, while only 14 percent of those over 50 keep theirs. Again, that made me wonder. Why are we less likely to keep our resolutions as we get older?

Perhaps as we get older we become more cynical, thinking, “What’s the use in trying?” Or, “I am who I am, and I am not likely to change now.” Maybe, just maybe, we begin to think there are no fresh starts anymore.

The truth is we don’t even need a new year to have a fresh start, and we are guaranteed success. God said; “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (II Corinthians 5:17) In Jesus we have a fresh start, a new beginning. This fresh start is not a one-time offer, but a daily one, even a minute-by-minute, offer. In Jesus we can leave old habits behind and begin anew. We are not locked into the past, but are set free to live the life God desires for us. Just about the time we think that there is no use in trying, because we will fall back into our ways, He remind us; “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

So could you use a fresh start? Today is as good a day as any to begin again. You can make a new year’s resolution or just accept the fact that God says through His Son, Jesus, you are a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come……no matter what your age is.

Happy New Year!