Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song. Psalm 95:2
Happy New Year! We begin another year of God’s grace thanking him for the goodness, love, and power that has carried us along. We ask him now to renew our faith in his merciful care and grant us courage and peace as he guides us through the coming year. Indeed, this new year begins in the same way each day begins—with our earnest prayer and praise.
How did January 1st come to be the special day to celebrate a New Year?
In the Old Testament, the Lord chose the seventh month to begin a new year. Speak to the people of Israel, saying, “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.” Lev 23:24. This is the “New Year’s Day” that is celebrated in Israel today, as a time to bless others and wish each other a sweet (like honey) new year. Synagogues hold special song and prayer services. We know this holiday as Rosh Hashanah, usually occurring in September or October.
Shortly before the New Testament era began, January 1st became the day the world now welcomes in a new year. It began with Julius Caesar. He instituted January 1 as the first day of the year, by adding 67 days to 46 B.C. so 45 B.C. would begin on January 1. Conveniently this new date honored the month’s namesake—Janus. He was the Roman god of beginnings, whose two faces allowed him to look to the past and forward to the future. Caesar had the right idea, but the wrong god!
On New Year’s Day, Christians honor the one true God. The God of time and eternity. The God who guided us in the past and will direct our future with his loving purpose in mind. Our eternal Savior will bless our New Year and make it truly happy. We can welcome in the new year 2023 with this prayer.
Help us, O Lord, for now we enter
Upon another year today.
In you our hopes and thoughts now center;
Renew our courage for the way.
New life, new strength, new happiness
We ask of you—oh, hear and bless.
January Worship Schedule
- January 8, worship in Wicker at 11:00 and Ramstein at 16:00.
- January 12, worship in Munich at the Jan Comenius Grundschule at 18:30.
- January 14, worship at Vilseck at 10:00. Note the new time, one hour earlier.
- January 15, worship in Switzerland at 11:00.
- January 22, worship in Wicker at 11:00 and Ramstein at 16:00.
We plan to have an Easter retreat in Würzburg, April 6-9. We have reserved all the available rooms at the Jugendherberge and that should be enough space for all those who have tentatively indicated they plan to participate. If we were to get more attendees than we have rooms reserved, we will take volunteers to stay at a local hotel. The retreat will begin on Thursday, April 6, with dinner and worship in the evening. Both on Friday and Saturday there will be bible study and children’s activities in the morning with lunch at the hostel. Afternoons are free. Friday evening we will have worship. Saturday evening we will eat in a local restaurant. Sunday morning we check out of the hostel and then have our Easter festival. Plan now to attend!
We thank the Lord for his undeserved love to us. In December €325.00, and CHF200.00 were received in basket offerings. €2,963.37 were received as direct deposits.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:7,8
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