My soul languishes for your salvation; I hope in your word. (Psalms 119:81 NRSV)
I understand that the Japanese have an interesting way of keeping track of the passage of time. Each time a new emperor takes the throne, the calendar starts all over again at "Year One." For example, in 1990 Japan's emperor Hirohito had been in power for 66 years, so it was year 66 on the Japanese calendar. That's not true, of course for Christendom. The coming of Jesus Christ signaled a break with the past--darkness became light, despair became hope, condemnation became grace. As William Barclay puts it, "Even the calendar tells us that with the birth of Jesus Christ history started all over again." So this is not "year one" or even "year one hundred." Rather it is the two thousandth year of our Lord.
And yet there is a sense in which, because Christ has come into the world, this year is potentially "year one" for each of us. Year one of a new life. Year one of a new beginning. Year one of a new creation. A year of hope.
Loving God, may I take full advantage of the hope that is before me. Amen.
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