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The start of the new year is usually a time for making resolutions. Eat less. Exercise more. Read the Bible in a year. Often, by the end of the month, if you’re like me, your failed resolutions have become one more piece of emotional baggage you have to heft through the rest of the year if not the rest of your life.

The good folk at Sustainable Traditions posted this graphic that re-frames the purpose of the Christian observance of the New Year so nicely.

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As we step into the unknown our own resolution should be to have a new soul, a fresh soul. Paradoxically, it’s a resolution that we have very little control over bringing into reality. In the end, we can only ask God to make our soul new, young, lithe rather than aged, stale, and ossified. The one thing we can do is faithfully practice the faith we confess in the Creeds. We can worship in community. We can celebrate. We can fast. We can drink deeply of the well of Scripture. We can feast on the body and blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper.

In the end, it’s appropriate to enter the New Year realizing just how dependent we are on God to “make all things new.”

Happy New Year!