There is always something impressive about a fresh start. Think how fortunate it would be if time was not somehow divided into parts. Suppose there were no day, only night. Even in parts of the world near the North Pole, there is a six-month day and six-month night. Or suppose there were only winter, or only summer, or only spring. Suppose there were no artificial things like months so that we could not be mindful of the passing of time. Suppose there were no years, just the passing of hours, with no signposts to make them.
The beginning of another year means the end of a year that has fulfilled itself and passed on. It means that some things are finished, rounded out, completed forever. It means that for some of us certain changes have taken place so profound in their nature that we can never be what we were before. There is something so final, so absolute, about a year that is gone. Something of it remains in us that we take into the year that is next in line.
But the New Year means a fresh start, a second wind, another chance, a kind of reprieve, a divine act of grace bestowed upon the children of men. It is important to remember that; whatever the fact may have been, it cannot be undone. It is a fact. If we have made serious blunders, they are made. All our tears cannot unmake them. We may learn from them and carry our hard-won lessons into the New Year. We can remember them, not with pain, but with gratitude that in our new wisdom we can live into the present year with deeper understanding and greater humanity. May whatever suffering we brought to ourselves or others teach us to understand life more completely and, in our understanding, love it more wisely, thus fulfilling God’s faith in us by permitting us to begin this New Year. — Howard Thurman
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)