I am certainly not the first to give you that greeting, but be assured my sentiments are heartfelt. I wish for you all the joy, the peace, the comfort and hope of God to enrich your days all this year through. Each of those things is an element of His abundant grace that really makes life worth living. Consider those who are missing these things in their lives.
Sadly there are those for whom the joy of each new day is blocked by the cynicism of life that says we are all just truly waiting for the “next shoe to drop” so we shouldn’t get too joyful today. The absence of faith in the true God of compassionate love darkens their days. The God who sacrificed His own Son for us is really just a demented puppeteer who is waiting to break all our strings and let us fall. The true joy that He wants to give is scoffed at and left as an unopened Christmas gift.
And so it is with all the wonderful gifts of God’s grace. All the Christmas gifts He gave: joy to the world, peace on earth, lifting the fallen, securing the hopeless and just keep reading the Christmas story along with the prophesies of Mary and Zacharias to find the rest; all these priceless gifts of love are left unopened. How many people will live the rest of this year without those precious gifts of God?
It is sad but true that some will reject these gifts and prefer to try and live their lives without the benefits of God’s grace. More sadly is the fact that many still have never heard that such gifts are available. That is why we, God’s children, are still here for the coming year. He has given to us the ministry of reconciliation. He wants us to communicate through words and life that there is hope, joy, peace and comfort found only in Jesus Christ. He doesn’t call us all to stand in a pulpit or go to jungle village, but He does call us all to be witnesses in word and life that Jesus is real and that God’s grace in Christ is unfathomably rich toward all who believe. This year let us all strive to make it a truly happy new year for those whom Christ came to save.
Frances Havergal wrote these words on all her New Year’s cards in 1874. “Another year of service, of witness for Thy love, another year of training for holier work above; another year is dawning, dear Father, let it be on earth, or else in heaven, another year for Thee.”