I like the New Year’s holiday. It’s among my favorite holidays. The new year gives us an opportunity to do things different than last year. The new year offers each of us a chance to be different. We can spend more time with our family than we did last year. We can make healthier choices than we did last year. We can save more money for retirement than we did last year. We can choose to forgive that person that hurt us, rather than hold that grudge like we did last year. We can take more weekends off and spend them with a friend. We can start the year committing to improve the community we live in and give a neighbor a hand. The new year offers all a new opportunity to improve our lives in the same way that Christ offers all a new life in Him. Jesus said one must be “born again” to see the Kingdom of God (John 3:3). I’ve heard it as “born anew” as well. This is an experience of transformation that can change anyone or “whosoever” (John 3:16). Jesus brings hope to the hopeless. No matter what one’s life situation or circumstance this “born anew” experience can bring about change for the better not just in eternal life, but in how we live our life here on earth. When we are “born anew” we learn to see the world through God’s eyes and feel the kind of compassion that Christ has. We are different than we used to be. The old self-centered nature becomes more others focused (2 Corinthians 5:17). We become more generous in sharing our time and talents with others. This is God’s plan for all of us: To share Christ with our neighbors. Not just in words, but in deeds as well. Jesus came to this world that we might have a more abundant life (John 10:10) and learn how to share that with the world around us (Matthew 28:18-20). As we begin this new year let’s work together to improve our communities and share the love of Christ a little more than we did last year. If we have a New Year’s resolution then let it be that we resolve to live with Christ as our focus and His love as our platform. Let’s come together as the community of Christ and work toward a better tomorrow. It’s a new year and a new opportunity let’s take advantage and make 2013 the year that the community of Christ came together and worked toward improving our community. • Lt. Mark Cyr is pastor of The Salvation Army in Carson City.
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