Blog #320: Reflections on New Year’s Day

When our society thinks of New Year’s Day, it is mostly thought of as a day to relax, eat a lot of food, or watch sports on television. But how should we Christians consider it? I recently read of two devotions on the day by a couple of 19th century British Christians. These writings were back in the day when people journalled as they read through the Bible. Perhaps we can learn from them. Neither of them offers resolutions, but meditations on the goodness and mercy of God; on the depth of His love; and on their place in His kingdom. May the Lord bless you as you peruse these writings.

From his devotional book entitled, The Life of Daniel Baker, here are Daniel Baker’s thoughts: Friday, January 1st, 1813. This morning I have been almost overwhelmed with a sense of the infinite majesty of Almighty God, and my own insignificancy and unworthiness. O, how astonishing is the grandeur, love, and condescension of Jehovah! He who created and sustains universal nature; who keeps in quiet and unceasing motion the countless and stupendous systems of planetary worlds; who causes them all to roll along and revolve with inconceivable velocity, and most exact order and harmony. …

From his devotional book entitled, The Life of Dr. Jacob Jones Janeway, here are Dr. Janeway’s thoughts: January 1, 1809. Behold, God has spared my life, and permitted me to enter on the threshold of a new year. I have great reason to be thankful to God for his many mercies to me and to my family. Yesterday being set apart as a day of thanksgiving in this city, I endeavoured to recollect the favours which I and my family have received from God, and to be grateful. I felt some emotions of gratitude, and gave thanks and praise to God. Oh, that this year may be better improved than the last; and if I live to see the end of it, may I be found then nearer in point of preparation than I am at present! Great changes, it is to be apprehended, will take place in this country, before the close of this year. The Lord in mercy, prepare me for whatever may await me; and oh, save my country! This day, as well as yesterday, my dear colleague preached. It is more than four months since he was able to preach; and yet the Lord in mercy, sent supplies to our church. …

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