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This week we celebrate a new year…but do we really? 

Our son Getenet is in Addis Ababa right now, visiting the place where he was born. There were no New Year’s Eve festivities there this past weekend; in Ethiopia, society runs on the Coptic calendar. They rang in the new year (2009) back in our September.

If you’re confused by now, that’s okay. Jumping between the Gregorian calendar, where we’re beginning 2017 with the first month of a 12-month year, and the Coptic calendar, where it’s 2009 on a 13-month calendar, is confusing. My purpose, however, isn’t to confuse. Instead, my purpose is to challenge you.

We place a lot of importance on the new year, looking back on the previous 12 months and making all kinds of resolutions for the coming ones. My point is that even the concept of “new year” is relative. Not all of those across the globe live by the Gregorian calendar. 

What does this mean for all of our new year’s resolutions? Go ahead, make them. But perhaps we don’t need a new year on a humanly constructed calendar to signal us to seek a more sanctified life. Instead, I’d like to propose that it is Christ in us that spurs us on.  

Remember what Galatians 2 says? “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:19-20).

Whatever calendar you might use, begin this day and each day with Christ. “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

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