As I write this it jumps off my page that the official date of publication is 01-01-2015 and I wonder where 2014 went.
I know it was filled with travels for me and so I suppose a lot was a blur because of that. I was reminded how nice it is to be a part of Brechin community as we gathered in the square for the Christmas Eve Carolling. It was my final public feel good event of 2014. But it also made me realize why I missed being here while I was travelling. That sense of community and seeing people that I know and can fellowship with.
Even the lad that when I was being cheeky talking about not seeing folk through the Christmas tree said back: “It’s nae you not seeing us but that we don’t want to see you.”
Or some such banter. That is what makes it fun, getting as good as you give.
And then a nice quiet Christmas day with the family after all the hype and build up to Christmas.
What a year. A year filled with more stuff than I will even try to put down, both good and great and some not so good to even tragic events that break our hearts and sensibilities.
So now we face the time of year that the days start lengthening out and we anticipate Spring and warmer weather, (we hope.) And yet with a New Year comes new hopes and dreams, new feelings of optimism.
I think as we look back on the year we will recognise that we made a few mistakes that we hope we can fix or do better in the new year. So the problem is what does it mean to ‘Start over’, ‘Have a Clean Slate’, ‘Get a Fresh Start’ and perhaps a half dozen other descriptions? Why does it matter? How can it help us live this next year?
Well as the Christian world view shapes up so often to guide our steps, we find so much of Christian faith leads us to a place called repentance and restoration. It is fitting after celebrating the Christmas season and the birth of Christ we are reminded where the journey goes.
So I will take us to the result of the life and death of Christ to prepare us for a new year. 1 Corinthians 5:17-19 says this: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”
This is what a new year can mean, a chance to find reconciliation, both with God and with our fellow journeyers this next year. A way to put past things behind us and put new things in front of us. But either way it will start us off on a better path than before. I think really there are a couple of sermons on this but I’ll give it a miss for now.
So here is wishing each one a good recovery from Christmas and now onto a Blessed New Year. We can build on this more in the coming weeks.
On the life journey still,
Rev. Jon Bergen
Brechin Baptist Fellowship