God of New Beginnings
January 01, 2012


The God of New Beginnings

 

As I sat down to write this article, knowing it would either be for the last edition of the Impartial Reporter in 2011 or for the first edition in 2012 my mind was drawn to the origin of the name of the first month of our calendar – January.  This first month is named after one of the gods of ancient Roman religion and mythology, the god Janus.  As you can see from depiction of Janus on the coin opposite, this god had two faces.  One face looks back upon time that has past while the other looks forward to time yet to come.  The reason Janus was regarded as the god of beginnings was because in worshipping Janus the devotee sought the help of Janus to overcome past failings and to make a new beginning in their life.  Hence when our calendar was being drawn up and the first month of a new year named it was thought appropriate to name the month January as it afforded people the opportunity to make a new beginning in their life.

 

Many of us as we look back over 2011, and probably over many other years that have now passed, know we need a new beginning in life. We have not been the sort of person we should be and that we would want to be. There is something deep within us that reminds us that we have not measured up to what we know to be God’s perfect standards. We have not given God the place of pre-eminence in our lives that He demands and that He deserves. We have loved other things and other people much more than we have loved God.  We have blasphemed His holy name time and time again; we have lied to and harboured hatred in our hearts towards others; we have been unforgiving, hypocritical and unloving. We have been unthankful for and have even greatly abused God’s good gifts to us.  In fact if truth be told this past year has just been like every other year of our lives and despite resolutions we may have made to try to be a better person we are still the same old person we have always been.

 

The Bible tells us that God, and only God, can give us a new beginning – one that will be real and that will last, not just till the end of January or till the end of 2012, but which will last for the rest of our lives. This new beginning is so radical that it is described as being ‘born again.’  It is a new beginning which is marked by recognising that we have sinned against God and acknowledging that no amount of trying to be a good person and to do good things will ever make up for the sins we have committed. It is a new beginning which leads a person to sincerely repent of their sins and seek forgiveness for them in the only way that such forgiveness can be granted – by believing the gospel message about Jesus and by personally trusting him as one’s saviour and Lord. It is a new beginning which produces a new way of life characterised by daily, loving obedience to God. The person’s outward life is transformed because in a very real sense the person has become a new person inside.

 

The apostle Paul writing to the people living in Corinth said “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5v17.

 

Many readers of this newspaper, like myself have experienced this new beginning, and at the beginning of another new year I would commend such a new beginning to you.

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