The start of a new year causes one to reflect and even anticipate what the upcoming year may bring. Reflection on those activities that were most memorable or eventful causes one to pause and remember. That anticipation for approaching activities, events, vacations, or for those well-thought out new resolutions for 2017 yet to come help brings about a sense of excitement and do occupy one’s thoughts.
Some of the commercials during the past few days reflected on those memorable moments in 2016. Other commercials focused on things like wealth, health, and well-being. Purchase an investment seminar or product and improve one’s financial prowess and financial security. Invest in a particular diet product, like weight-watchers, Jenny Craig, or Nutrisystem, to shed those pounds gained during the holidays or just simply gained over time. Acquire a piece of exercising equipment or adhere to an exercising routine or program promoting quicker workouts and better results.
There is nothing wrong at all about eating healthy and maintaining a healthy well-being. We certainly appreciate the value of a dollar and do put some away for a rainy day or even to make bigger purchases over time. Exercising, eating reasonable portions, and enjoying foods in moderation are important to maintain good health. With that being penned though, almost every commercial desired to couple one’s happiness and joy to temporal things – financial security, healthiness, and physical appearance.
As Christians, the New Year should bring about for us those realizations that have stood the test of time! New hope gifted to us in our Baptisms and anchored in the Cross of Jesus Christ. New life secured in the suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord Jesus. New joy brought forth by the grace, mercy, and love lavished upon us by our Heavenly Father. New peace and reconciliation for ourselves and each other because we know we are reconciled by the blood of Jesus, forgiven and restored people of God and heirs of His kingdom.
As you begin 2017, focus not on oneself but on the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and give great thanks, praise, and honor for our gift of Christian partnership we have with each other and eternal life with Jesus, our Lord and Savior!
May God grant you a blessed 2017!
Dr. Jon Mielke, Superintendent of Lutheran Schools, Indiana District LCMS