For January 1, 2019
Around the world, revelers gather to witness remarkable pyrotechnics and special effects lighting shows to celebrate a New Year. The Times Square Ball, New York, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong, the River Thames near the London Eye as well as other locations provide revelers with spectacular images every year.
With each successive year of the Gregorian Calendar, we number the years since the birth of Christ. Anno Domini (AD or A.D.) is the Latin phrase that implies “In the year of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Moreover, BC or B.C. separates time before the birth of Christ from time after His birth, which is referred to as Common, Current, or Christian Era (CE or C.E.).
This year, we celebrate two thousand and nineteen years since the birth of Jesus Christ.1 Numbering years allows us to honor this most influential person in human history.
We make this distinction because through Christ we can become new people on the inside by way of the New Birth, as He promises in John 3:3, 16-17 (NLT):
I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God…For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Some associate the New Birth with materialism and insist it insures our wealth and prosperity. This cannot be the case since Jesus’ teachings never advocated materialism over God’s spiritual Kingdom. Transforming hearts is His chief concern. And once He has our hearts, He has everything else we have.
Although our new life in Christ may not lead to wealth and fame, the complete, internal, spiritual overhaul that accompanies it will produce a new person as 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) teaches:
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun.
Newness occurs once we hear the good news (Gospel) about how God loves us and wants to satisfy our deepest longings–freely. Then, we repent by changing our minds about pursuing sin, and we turn to Christ by inviting Him into our hearts as Lord and Savior, by faith. Then His Spirit preserves and enables us to accomplish His will as beloved children.
I pray that 2019 brings us His peace and fulfillment as it draws us one year closer to His glorious return.