I’ve heard that tonight more than a billion people will watch a large, Waterford crystal ball slowly drop down a pole in Times Square in New York. That is just one of countless celebrations around the world signaling the beginning of the year 2023. But if you asked a sampling of people what it is they’re celebrating, you would get a variety of answers. For some it’s celebrating a fresh start with the turning of the calendar page. For others there might be a sense of relief in surviving the past year. For many it’s just a momentary pause before daily life continues much as it did before.
Moses in Psalm 90 had a much more insightful view of the importance of time. He wrote in v. 12, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” There is a certain comfort in imagining time as a limitless resource. Whatever I didn’t get done last year, I’ll get around to this year. If I don’t accomplish it this year, there’s always the next. I should have been more faithful in reading and hearing the Word, but there’s always tomorrow. I really should make amends with that person I hurt…I’ll do it…sometime.
“Numbering our days” means recognizing that they are not infinite. None of us knows what that number is. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Ps. 139:16). “My times are in your hands” (Ps. 39:15). It’s no secret why life is disrupted by death. Moses says, “We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence” (Ps. 90:7-8). Death comes because of sin. Realizing how temporary his life was, Moses prayed for wisdom to make the best use of his days in serving the Lord, who would send His Son to conquer death and win eternal life for all who believe.
For us too, there is no better “numbering” of our days than to pray for the wisdom which faces the reality of sin and death, but which rejoices in the Savior born 2,000 years ago who promises, “I am the resurrection and the life!” In love for Him who first loved us, may we look forward to making the most of every day in the new year to glorify the Savior. Then 2023 will be a very good year!
Yours in Christ,
New Year’s Eve service: Our service tonight is at 6:30. There’s no better way to transition from one year to the next than by acknowledging the Lord’s grace in the past and praying for His mercy to continue in the new year. The Lord’s Supper will be also be celebrated.
New Year’s Day: We will follow our usual Sunday schedule: Services at 8:00 and 10:30 am. Sunday school at 9:15 a.m. and adult Bible class at 9:30 a.m. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated.