Now when these things begin to take place, stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." (Luke 21:28 NRSV)

We are set free when we realize that we are not trapped by what has happened to us in the past. Many of us get stuck because we remember and relive old, painful memories. We get stuck and become paralyzed by old bones.

On Johnny Carson's very last program, he acknowledged the presence of his family in the audience. One of his sons had been killed in an automobile crash a year or so before. Johnny said, "Life does what it's supposed to do." Then he said something to the effect, "And then you move on."

For some of us, last year was the worst year ever. Many people lost jobs, many were laid off, many found themselves having to cope with less income and more stress. Others experienced death in their families which left them hurting and grieving. Whatever might have happened to us in the last year, the start of a new year is a time to free ourselves from the past and start over.

The new year is a reminder of new beginnings. And the best new beginnings start with our walk with Christ.

Dear God, help be begin anew in your love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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