We have a annual ritual of New Year’s Resolutions and most of them soon fade and fail. This ritual is a limp imitation of a real invitation that God gives each of us.
We are challenged to change our lives
There is a standing call to change
No matter how bad and regrettable our mistake are, we can change. (Isaiah 1:18)
There is a seasonality in creation.
God structured our universe to give day and night, seasons, and years. We always are reminded of potential new beginnings as we live each day (Genesis 1:14-19).
There was a seasonality in the Torah
God gave His people the Sabbath. Seven days with a Sabbath for a week. Seven years of labor and with a sabbatical year and seven yearly cycles culminating in a fiftieth year of Jubilee. These are cycles of work and rest, of mistakes and new beginnings. The year began with the Passover celebration of the Exodus and deliverance from slavery. The year had a cycle of pilgrimage feasts that gave a structure of thankfulness and renewal. God was the source of national and personal prosperity. (Exodus 34; Leviticus 23; 25; Deuteronomy 16)
Repentance is always an option.
We are always called to look at our lives and grow toward godliness. It is not a cycle of new year’s resolutions and failure but a daily discipline of repentance and transformation.
The challenge to change is urgent
There is an urgency in the book of Hebrews when the writer applies the failures of the wilderness wanderings to his readers. Today is the time for obedience. Today is the time for change. Today is the time to change from self-focused aimless striving to God-centered confident rest. Jesus said that His burden is light and His yoke is easy. It doesn’t have to be the frenetic aimlessness of those around us who live like there is no God. We know our Savior who gives life ultimate meaning. This can be the grounding center of our daily pilgrimage (Matthew 11:30; Hebrews 3-4; Psalms 95).