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Hobert’s Homily: A New Start 

  At this time of year we think about new starts, fresh opportunities to do something or to be something – new beginnings or second chances. A new year urges us to improve – to be more patient, to study harder, to diet, to exercise, to practice our music, to read the Bible and pray every day. New starts are both possible and profitable, if we make them with God's help.

  “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 
2 Corinthians 5:17.

  God gives us plenty of opportunities to start over – to learn from our mistakes and move forward. Because we are imperfect people living in an imperfect world new starts are necessary. When God created the heavens and the earth everything was perfect. But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, death and decay began to touch everything because of the effects of sin..

  The penalty for Adam and Eve's sin was death, but God promised that one day a Child would come to crush the head of the serpent who tempted them to disobey, Genesis 3:15. God gave them a new start and hope for the future. And that hope was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. "Because of His great love for us, God, Who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved," Ephesians 2:4.

  Everything and everyone still experiences the effects of sin. Yet God offers forgiveness and a fresh beginning through Jesus Christ. That is comforting no matter if your name is Adam, Eve, Cindy or Peter.

  Peter denied the Lord three times and he needed a fresh start. Read Luke 22:59 – 62 and John 21:15 – 19 to see how Peter and Jesus responded. We are called to “be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you," Ephesians 4:32. The Lord is giving us a fresh opportunity to press on towards the goal of Christ likeness. As we press on in the journey of life let's encourage one another to walk in the light as Jesus is in the light.

  In the beginning God created time - mornings and evenings, weeks and years. May the Lord help us to seek His face in prayer and Bible reading as we learn from Him how to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom, Psalm 90:12, Proverbs 3:13 – 26. Every day is a gift from God to be used for Him.