Creator God, thank you for this day of grace. You have brought us into a new year and we look forward to what you have in store. May we have the strength to allow you to guide us and lead us where you would have us go. Now surround us with your arms and grant us rest. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
Daily Archives: January 1, 2021
Numbers 6:22-27 (ESV)
22 The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,
24 The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.”
16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
Mary must have been exhausted. First a long journey. Then the fear of too many closed doors. Then the pains of childbirth – alone, in a cave, with just her husband. Then shepherds with tales of angelic visions gawking at her new baby. But here she is, on the threshold of a new and uncertain era in her life, prayerfully reflecting. Not complaining about her present troubles. Not worrying about the future. Not reliving the past. Instead, she is pondering all these events and finding the hand of the Lord in each of them.
We should take Mary’s disposition as a model for all of us as we begin a new year. A reflective and contemplative woman, she knew how to turn inward to find God’s wisdom and guidance. She knew how to contemplate the events in her life in a way that opened her up to the presence of God and kept her from the fears and anxieties that could have easily overwhelmed her.
As we begin another year, each of us is at the beginning of a new era. We are all standing on the peak of a mountain and can look both ways. With the past behind us and the future ahead of us, we can all take a kind of inventory, remembering what God has done for us in the past and setting our goals and dreams for how we want him to work in us in the future.
What was last year like for you? It might have been just another year with the usual ups and downs. Or like Mary’s, it might have been a year of significant changes and challenges. Either way, take some time to recall one or two memorable situations. Try to see how the Lord has blessed you and kept you through them. Look for the ways he has proved his faithfulness to you. Let this “inspired remembering” fill you with hope for the year to come. Let it remind you that God, your heavenly Father, has resolved to love you and care for you all year long.
Father, help me remember how you have blessed and kept me. Give me faith to entrust this new year to you. Amen.