06 Feb 2022
Dear beloved family in Christ
Whether it is New Year’s Day (1 January) on the Gregorian calendar or the first day of the Chinese Lunar calendar, there is always much joy and celebration all around.
Why is the celebration of the New Year so important? Some possible reasons include:
- Relief to have “survived” the previous year with its difficulties and heartbreaks and emerging a stronger, better person.
- Gratitude for wonderful memories and happy times with family and friends.
- Hope for improvements in our life and circumstances and growing in maturity.
- Opportunity for a fresh start, eg. spiritual walk, educational progress, family adjustments, etc.
In our Anglican church experience and biblical teaching, this issue of celebrating something new spiritually has been embedded in our prayer tradition. Let me share some examples.
- At our Baptism, we rejoice that “we are raised with Christ to new life in the Spirit”.
- At our Confirmation, we thank God that He has “given your servants new birth in baptism by water and the Spirit”.
- When we confess our sins to seek God’s forgiveness, we ask God to “grant that we may serve you in newness of life”.
- During Holy Communion, we pray: “may we who share Christ’s Body live his risen life”.
- On Ash Wednesday, we plead with God to “create and make in us new and contrite hearts”.
- In Pentecost season, we ask God to “deliver us from the death of sin and raise us to new life in your love”.
May our lives be renewed and strengthened in the power of the Holy Spirit day by day to the glory of God.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17