Happy New Year!
When the clock turns to midnight to draw one year to an end and the fireworks announce the start of the next, it is a natural time to think about ‘new beginnings’. New Year Resolutions are made and many will already have been broken (and it’s only the 3rd January as I write this). It is easy to feel disheartened as we make the same mistakes time and time again.
The Christian message is one of new beginnings, but not just for New Year’s Day. At the end of last term, Verulam’s Year 8s had the privilege of acting out stories from the Old Testament in our Walk Through the Bible lesson. They (and we) had a lot of fun dressing up as they retold the accounts of Adam and Eve, Abraham and Isaac, Moses and the Exodus, David and Goliath and Daniel and the Lion’s Den.
We helped fill the gaps between the stories so they understood the bigger story that each of their performances fitted into. What becomes clear is that God is constantly giving second chances. His people continuously mess up and make mistakes, despite the resolutions they made not to. They don’t live as they should and betray God leading to very real consequences. However, God always sends a rescuer to bring His people back into a right relationship with Him.
As they reach the end of the Old Testament, the students hear that the people of Israel are awaiting the Messiah, a saviour who would be the ultimate rescuer to deal with the mistakes all humans have made from Adam and Eve to us here in 2019. We turn over a page to the New Testament and hear about the birth of a little baby - a boy whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. Jesus was and is that ultimate rescuer, the ultimate ‘second-chance giver’.
What a wonderful message to share that new beginnings are not just for New Year.