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2nd January 2024


The Year Ahead


When you pass through the waters, I will be with you.


Isaiah 43:2


The ball drops in New York’s Times Square. The crowd counts down to Big Ben chiming. Sydney Harbor erupts in fireworks. However your Country/city marks it, there’s something exciting about welcoming in a new year and the fresh start it brings. On New Year’s Day we push out into new waters. What friendships and opportunities might we find?


For all its excitement, though, a new year can be unsettling. None of us knows the future or what storms it may hold. Many New Year’s traditions reflect this: Fireworks were invented in China to supposedly ward off evil spirits and make a new season prosperous. And New Year’s resolutions date back to the Babylonians who made vows to appease their gods. Such acts were an attempt to make an unknown future secure.


When they were not making vows, the Babylonians were busy conquering people—including Israel. In time, God sent the enslaved Jews this message: “Do not fear . . . . When you pass through the waters, I will be with you” (Isaiah 3:1-2). Later, the Lord Jesus said something similar when He and the disciples were caught sailing in a violent storm. “Why are you so afraid?” He told them before commanding the waters to "be still" (Matthew 8:23-27).


The New Year is here, thus we push out from the shore into new, uncharted waters. Whatever we face this year, the Lord is with us—and He has the power to calm the waves.

Bible Reading

Matthew 8:23-27.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You that whatever this new year brings, You will be with me in it. Amen.
















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