The New Year

  New Year's Day, 2001. It's a day we've looked forward to for years. Many say it's the real New Millennium, and people everywhere will be celebrating again, just as they did a year ago. Stanley Kubrick believed we'd all be traveling in space this year, as he showed in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey. Well, he was wrong. We send rockets into space, all right, but it's not what the filmmaker expected. Prophets are often wrong. The Y2K alarmists certainly were. The New Millennium is a time of new beginnings. We have a new president, a new administration, and a new start for the nation. We have a clean slate, a chance to make up for past wrongs. And there's a new spirit of reconciliation. The election this year nearly tore the nation apart - - fragmenting us, revealing just how wide the moral divide has become. But we now see how wise our Founders were, and what a great document they gave us in the Constitution. They foresaw all the things that could happen, and they had a remedy for every challenge we would face. No second Revolutionary War is needed in the Year of our Lord 2001. But we have a fresh slate to begin with, and a new chance for Americans to unite behind their leaders. Most important, we take note today that we're entering the 2001st year since the birth of Christ. Isn't it amazing that all of history is dated from this one event? The birth of a child, who came in humility to redeem us from our sin, became the Lord of history. His birth divides time into two parts: Before Christ (B.C.) and Anno Domini (A.D.), "in the year of our Lord." We don't often stop to think just how mind-boggling this event was. Have you seen a newborn baby lately? Human babies are the most helpless creature on earth -- more than any other creature, and for a much longer time. For the Son of God, the Creator of the universe, to put himself entirely into the hands of mere mortals is an overwhelming concept. Yes, he knew how it would all turn out; but isn't it amazing that God would come down from heaven and live among men? And that he would endure the troubles and heartaches we all endure? He knew the end from the beginning -- that he would suffer and die for us all-too-human people; yet, he did it willingly. We can never say, therefore, "God doesn't understand how hard life is!" because he does. He's been here -- suffered with us. And Scripture says, "He learned obedience by the things which he suffered" [Hebrews 5:8]. Ultimately, it's all about love. "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life" [John 3:16]. Because he created us and redeemed us, we can face the future with total confidence. God is sovereign over all. Everything we have faced is known to him. He is the author of history. So rejoice this day in his goodness and provision. And if you're in the business of making New Year's resolutions, resolve to be obedient. It's the only resolution you'll need to make.


Chuck Colson


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