Happy New Year everyone! There’s a freshness about every new year. It’s a time when we reflect upon what has taken place in our lives the past year. Equally, we look ahead with hope in what the coming year might bring.
Traditionally, each new year is a time when people set for themselves new goals to achieve. There are the usual resolutions like losing weight, exercising more, saving money, moving, or getting a new job. Some people make resolutions to be more patient or they resolve to be kinder to everyone in general. Like most people, I have made resolutions in the past. I always meant to keep them; the trouble is, after a few weeks into the new year, I couldn’t even remember what the goals were that I had set.
In recent years, I came upon something that encouraged me. It was a goal to set, not just for the new year, but for each day. It’s been a goal that has been a joy to remember. It’s been helpful and comforting to me. It’s this: Matthew 1:23. An angel was speaking to Joseph before Jesus was born. The angel said about Mary, “She will give birth to a Son, and will call Him Immanuel, which means, ‘God is with us.'” My resolution became a daily goal to remind myself that whatever the day would hold, easy or hard to bear, I would get through it because of Immanuel — God is with us. God is with you. God is with me.
Maybe you would like to start this New Year with the same resolution, to remember everyday that — God is with you. When you are joyful, God shares in your happiness. When you are hurting, God gives you His comfort. When you are feeling like all hope is gone, don’t forget — God is with you. When God Almighty is with you, hope is always there. Perhaps He will lead you in a new direction and you’re scared at what will unfold. Perhaps there are health issues to deal with. Press on — God is with you. What today brings, whatever you think tomorrow may hold, fear not — God is with you.
Just think, from the time of Jesus’ birth, God the Father had it in His plan to send His only Son into the world to offer salvation to everyone who wanted it; to everyone who would ask His forgiveness of sin. He chose to make it possible that by the Holy Spirit living inside every son and daughter of God, no one would ever be alone — God would be with them.
Father in heaven, may we never forget the name Immanuel. Throughout this new year, may we remember each day — God is with us.