Have you ever read through the entire Bible? I’ve done this several times, and my new Bible—this one with ruled margins for note-taking!—was a good reason to do it again. One reason I commit to reading every page (even the genealogies) is that I can’t skip the parts I don’t like—the parts that make me cringe. Yes, I have some issues with parts of the Bible, but I don’t blame God. It could be that His ways are simply higher than mine, and I can’t possibly see His viewpoint. It could be that I just don’t understand the context. Or, it could be the translation.
I think we’d all agree—the world is not doing so well. Read the headlines, listen to the news, and we aren’t surprised to find that people lie and cheat and murder, innocent people suffer, and loving kindness is in very short supply. How did we get into this mess?
If you’re a Christian, you probably blame it all on Satan, who enticed Eve into eating that forbidden fruit. The story in Genesis 3 is very familiar; we’ve read it many times. And whether you take it literally or symbolically, the end result is the same. Mankind fell for the lie and the results are all around us.
It’s New Year’s Eve. I know I should be excited about this (and I am definitely looking forward to a friend’s party tonight), but I’ve always struggled to find meaning in this particular holiday.
It’s not like we’re celebrating a specific event—like the 4th of July or the resurrection. We’re not celebrating a honored person—such as George Washington, or St. Valentine. We’re not even marking an astronomical event. The winter solstice was ten days ago on December 21.
Rather, our celebration is based purely on the calendar being what it is. So, why do we celebrate January 1 as the start of a new year?