The month of January is named after the Roman god “Janus,” who is usually depicted as a man with two faces. One face looks back into the year that has passed and that face bears traces of sorrow, dismay, and perplexity. The other face looks toward the coming year and that face reflects hope and confidence.
We can agree that 2020 was a very unusual year. A year that began with great hope, but quickly turned into something that none of us had ever experienced - a pandemic. It brought uncertainty, sorrow, dismay, perplexity, confusion, a shortage of toilet paper, canceled meetings, working from home, lots of Zoom calls, and frustration of not being able to see people, or go to church. However, we can certainly hope and pray that 2021 will be different!
This reminds me of a scripture, one of my favorites, Ephesians 4:
Live a life worthy of the calling you have received (Ephesians 4:1). We are to be humble, gentle, patient, bear each other’s burdens in love, keep the unity, and keep the peace.
Put off your old self (Ephesians 4:22). Let us not continue to look back on 2020, dwelling on the struggles and negativity of the year.
Put on the new self (Ephesians 4:24). Instead, let us look forward to 2021 with the hope and confidence that Christ gives us.
Last year was an emotional roller coaster. There were many situations and emotions that we have had to deal with throughout the year. As you reflect on 2020, do not ignore or dismiss those situations and emotions from your mind. Instead, learn from them and look for something good that came from the low points you experienced.
Now, welcome 2021 with the hope, confidence, and optimism that Christ has given us! This year is a fresh start, a new beginning, with new opportunities to grow closer to Him and closer to others. We need to give it our best and make the most of the gift a new year gives us!
Happy New Year!
Written by WMU of Texas President Earl Ann Bumpus