The early months of the change of year always strike me as a micro version of the already and the not yet. This little parenthesis celebrating newness impresses that tension we still live in. A new year, a new decade-it reminds us of the time when all things will be new. But tragedy and failure quickly rush in to remind us that we're not there yet. Soon resolutions will be broken or forgotten (if they aren't already) and the bite of our "sameness" will be felt.
Things are different now, yet things are predictably the same. The old is still following along behind us. It's still the middle of winter, it's still cold and dark. But then we are reminded by these things that there is "new promise in the night". Even now, wheels are slowly turning. And we know instinctively that the new will one day come and with Christ has already begun. So with creation, we continue at times like this to groan for that final arrival.
Though the expectation that things will be different just by the change on the date on the calendar seems arbitrary I think it reveals our longing for the reality of a truly new year, one where all the hopes and dreams made for it are going to come to pass. We, as sojourners in the world, look at new beginnings and see the place we started out, and the place where we are going. So we wait for the time when all things are made new as we are. We live in our tents and await our kingdom, hoping with each passing year this will be the one.We wonder how long we will have to live with the old, the broken promise, the quickly spoiled year, the ravages of our flesh. God alone knows. So even while we see this age, we look past it to the age to come.
It is another time to say even so, Come Lord Jesus.