Posts Tagged ‘Lamentations 3:22-23’

Each sunrise reminds us God is faithful

May 17, 2021

This morning I began my day overwhelmed by the splendor of the sunrise, a reminder of the faithfulness of God, as this familiar passage from Lamentations 3:22-23 also came to mind:

“Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness”

Refrains from one of my favorite hymns flooded my soul with song:

Great is Thy faithfulness
O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not
Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou hast been
Thou forever will be

Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
And all I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me

Other scriptures also ­­­­remind me that God is faithful beginning with Philippians 1:6 in the Amplified Bible:

6 And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

God completes the good work begun in us so that as believers we will be complete in every good work to do His will, as Hebrews 13:20-21 offers this benediction:

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen

Throughout the Scriptures we find that “. . . God is faithful and means what He says.” 1 Corinthians 1:9 (AMP) makes know this truth:

God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

This blessing and benediction also remind believers of God’s faithfulness:

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (AMP)

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

In Hebrews 6:10 (AMP) we find another reminder that God is faithful and that He is not unjust:

For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown for His name in ministering to [the needs of] the saints (God’s people), as you do.

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

Hebrews 6:10

For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.

As believers we endeavor to serve God and minister to one another. Our efforts may not always be recognized nor appreciated. Those whom we serve in love may not always remember what we say and do, but we are assured that God never forgets. Not only is God, our Father, faithful and just, but He is also a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), as the following poetic comments illustrate:

A Reminder: God Is Faithful

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love,

which you have shown toward his name, in that you have ministered

to the saints and do minister.

Hebrews 6:10

All the good deeds you have done may not be extolled

When the fervor of God’s love has long since grown cold.

Some so quickly forget all the good you have done,

And they fail to recall you were the only one

To answer the call, seek the Lord and intercede.

Time after time you were the one to meet the need.

When others were busy and chose to walk away,

You were there and remained in the thick of the fray.

In dark times when words of thanks are distant memories,

Recall our God knows all things, for He alone sees

Your labor and saves every tear you have shed.

Our Father is ever mindful of how you serve,

And He shall reward you beyond all you deserve.

As you strive to finish your course, have no regret:

Our God is faithful–He will never forget.

In reflecting upon God’s faithfulness as expressed in the Word of God, I thought of this medley of two songs that have come to mean so much to me: “He’s Been Faithful” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness” offered by The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir:

Remember: God is faithful

January 18, 2019

This morning as I began my day, I thought of the faithfulness of God, as this familiar passage from Lamentations 3:22-23 came to mind:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Refrains from one of my favorite hymns flooded my soul with song:

Great is Thy faithfulness
O God my Father
There is no shadow of turning with Thee
Thou changest not
Thy compassions they fail not
As Thou hast been
Thou forever will be
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
And all I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness
Lord unto me

Other scriptures also remind me that God is faithful beginning with Philippians 1:6 in the Amplified Bible:

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

God completes the good work begun in us so that as believers we will be complete in every good work to do His will, as Hebrews 13:20-21 offers this benediction:

20 Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, 21 make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen

Throughout the Scriptures we find that “. . . God is faithful and means what He says.” 1 Corinthians 1:9 (AMP) makes know this truth:

God is faithful [He is reliable, trustworthy and ever true to His promise—He can be depended on], and through Him you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

This blessing and benediction also remind believers of God’s faithfulness:

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 (AMP):

23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

In Hebrews 6:10 (AMP) we find another reminder that God is faithful and that He is not unjust:

For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown for His name in ministering to [the needs of] the saints (God’s people), as you do.

The New Living Translation puts it this way:

Hebrews 6:10

For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.

As believers we endeavor to serve God and minister to one another. Our efforts may not always be recognized nor appreciated. Those whom we serve in love may not always remember what we say and do, but we are assured that God never forgets. Not only is God, our Father, faithful and just, but He is also a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6), as the following poetic comments illustrate:

A Reminder: God Is Faithful

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love,
which you have shown toward his name, in that you have ministered
to the saints, and do minister.
Hebrews 6:10

All the good deeds you have done may not be extolled
When the fervor of God’s love has long since grown cold.
Some so quickly forget all the good you have done,
And they fail to recall you were the only one
To answer the call, seek the Lord and intercede.
Time after time you were the one to meet the need.
When others were busy and chose to walk away,
You were there and remained in the thick of the fray.
In dark times when words of thanks are distant memories,
Recall our God knows all things, for He alone sees
Your labor and saves every tear you have shed.
Our Father is ever mindful of how you serve,
And He shall reward you beyond all you deserve.
As you strive to finish your course, have no regret:
Our God is faithful–He will never forget.

In reflecting upon God’s faithfulness as expressed in Philippians 1:6 and elsewhere in the Bible, I thought of this song which has come to mean so much to me: “Great Work” offered by Brian Courtney Wilson:

Tender mercy of our God

December 20, 2016

luke-1-76-79

The Verse of the Day for December 19, 2016 comes from Luke 1:76-78 (NASB):

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways; To give to His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,

The entire passage known as Zechariah’s Song or the Benedictus is found in Luke 1:67-79. In it Zachariah offers a prophetic word that praises his son, John, who is preparing the way for the Messiah, the expression of “the tender mercy of our God.”

One of the awesome attributes of God is that He is a God of mercy, as Psalm 103:17-18 reveal:

17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;
18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

In a real sense, He is a God of justice, who tempers justice with grace and mercy. Justice has been defined as “getting exactly what one deserves.” Whereas grace is said to be unmerited favor or getting something that one does not deserve, and mercy is defined as “withholding merited judgment” or “not getting what one deserves. God ever displays His mercy toward His children, as Lamentations 3:22-23 remind us:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Verse 32 reiterates the Lord “will have compassion according to His abundant lovingkindness and tender mercy.”

The Psalmist also reveals this glorious attribute of God: His tender mercy

Psalm 5:7 (AMP),

But as for me, I will enter Your house through the abundance of Your steadfast love and tender mercy; At Your holy temple I will bow [obediently] in reverence for You.

Psalm 40:11 (AMP)

Do not withhold Your compassion and tender mercy from me, O Lord; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.

Psalm 103:4 (AMP)

Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you [lavishly] with lovingkindness and tender mercy;

Finally, we find a brilliant display of God’s tender mercy in James 5:11 in the Classic Amplified Version:

You know how we call those blessed (happy) who were steadfast [who endured]. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the Lord’s [purpose and how He richly blessed him in the] end, inasmuch as the Lord is full of pity and compassion and tenderness and mercy.

We conclude with “Because of your tender mercy,” inspired by Verse of the Day.

The tender mercy of our God

December 19, 2015

The passage from Luke 1:67-79 known as the Benedictus or Zechariah’s song is inscribed in Hebrew on these tiles on display at the church of St. John in the Mountains, said to be the birthplace of St. John.

The passage from Luke 1:67-79 known as the Benedictus or Zechariah’s song is inscribed in Hebrew on these tiles on display at the church of St. John in the Mountains, said to be the birthplace of St. John.

The Verse of the Day for December 19, 2015 is taken from Luke 1:76-78 (AMP):

“And you, child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; For you will go on before the Lord (the Messiah) to prepare His ways; To give His people the knowledge of salvation By the forgiveness of their sins, Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise (the Messiah) from on high will dawn and visit us,

Known as “Zechariah’s Song,” the entire passage is based on Luke 1:67-79 where Zechariah, the priest, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesies concerning of his own son, John, the Baptist, and the Jesus Christ, the Messiah. This prophetic declaration is also referred to as “Benedictus,” the first word in the Latin version of the passage. Here Zechariah speaks of “the tender mercy of God.”

Without question, one of the awesome attributes of God is that He is a God of mercy. In a real sense, He is a God of justice, who tempers justice with grace and mercy. Justice has been defined as “getting exactly what one deserves.” Whereas grace is said to be unmerited favor or getting something that one does not deserve, and mercy is defined as “withholding merited judgment” or “not getting what one deserves. God ever displays His mercy toward His children, as expressed so passionately throughout the Psalms which make known the extent of God’s mercy:

Psalm 119:64:

The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 57:10:

For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

Psalm 69:13:

But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

Psalm 103:17:

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

I recall that the favorite verse of my late father-in-law and one of my favorite verses is repeated throughout the Book of Psalms:

Psalm 100:5 (KJV):

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Lamentations 3:22-23 also remind us:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

“Great is Thy Faithfulness,” one of the most popular hymns of all times, is inspired by this passage and mentions “new mercies” in its chorus:

Throughout the writings of Paul in the New Testament we find references to grace and mercy which are often found the salutations of that open these letters. In Titus, 1 and 2 Timothy, and 2 John “grace and mercy” are linked with “peace.” The blending of these three qualities became the inspiration for this poem:

Grace, Mercy, and Peace: A Three-fold Cord

Blest be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love;

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above.

Dr. John Fawcett

To Timothy, my dearly beloved son:

Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father

and Christ Jesus our Lord

2 Timothy 1:2

Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.
These three traits never diminish but only increase.
Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

Grace: a priceless gift that no one on earth can afford.
God’s great grace abounds toward us and shall never decrease.
Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as three-fold cord.

That God is truly merciful cannot be ignored.
Streams of the sure mercies of the Lord shall never cease.
Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

Peace cancels all strife, but we must live in one accord.
All those who are bound the Word of the Lord will release.
Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.

All who seemed forsaken, God, our Father, has restored.
As we seek God, we find that in His will is our peace.
Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

Boundless love and favor are waiting to be explored,
For we are so designed to shine as God’s masterpiece.
Grace, mercy, and peace bind our hearts as a three-fold cord.
Our lives are enriched as we learn to walk with the Lord.

We close our discussion of God’s mercy with two moving musical selections:

“Because of your tender mercy” which is based on Zechariah’s Song:

Don Moen—reminds us the wide expanse of God’s mercy: “Great is your mercy”:

God’s lovingkindness endures forever

November 29, 2015

Psalms-9  21-and-136 26

Originally posted a year ago, the following entry has been modified and re-posted:

The Psalms overflow with prayers of thanksgiving, as expressed in the Verse of the Day for November 29, 2015 found in Psalm 136:1, 26 (AMP):

[Thanks for the Lord’s Goodness to Israel.] Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever. Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever.

Here is the more familiar rendering of this passage in the New King James:

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever.

One of the awesome attributes of God is that He is a God of mercy, and His mercy never fails. The Amplified Bible expands the term “mercy” with this expression: “lovingkindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion).” Although our Father is a God of justice, he tempers justice with grace and mercy. The Psalmist declares:

Psalm 33:5 (AMP):

He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.

Justice has been defined as “getting exactly what one deserves.” Whereas grace is said to be unmerited favor or getting something that one does not deserve, mercy is defined as “withholding merited judgment” or “not getting what one deserves. God ever displays His mercy toward His children, as Lamentations 3:22-23 remind us:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

The mercy of God as expressed in Lamentations 3 is the inspiration behind one of my favorite hymns: “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Listen to this moving rendition of this timeless classic:

Throughout the Psalms, we see that God abounds in mercy:
Psalm 119: 64:

The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 57:10

For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

Psalm 69:13

But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

Psalm 103:17

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

Israel Houghton and New Breed conclude this entry with this reminder of the essence of the message: “Lord, You are Good and Your Mercy Endureth Forever.”

Judgment tempered with mercy

September 26, 2015

Hebrews 10--30The Verse of the Day for September 26, 2015 describes one of the amazing facets of “the living God” who is serves as Judge in Hebrews 10:30-31:

For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The passage is rendered this way in the Amplified Bible:

Hebrews 10:30-31:

30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the deliverance of justice rest with Me], I will repay [the wrongdoer].” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful and terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God [incurring His judgment and wrath].

In recognizing the truth that God is the ultimate judge of humanity, we also recognize that He is also a God who tempers judgment with mercy in Lamentations 3:22-23:

22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Nowhere is the righteous judgment of God balanced with His mercy and lovingkindness more brilliantly displayed than in this passage from Psalm 103:6-14

The Lord executes righteousness
And justice for all the oppressed.

He made known His ways [of righteousness and justice] to Moses,
His acts to the children of Israel.

The Lord is merciful and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in compassion and lovingkindness.

He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 
He has not dealt with us according to our sins [as we deserve],
Nor rewarded us [with punishment] according to our wickedness.
11 
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear and worship Him [with awe-filled respect and deepest reverence].
12 
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 
Just as a father loves his children,
So the Lord loves those who fear and worship Him [with awe-filled respect and deepest reverence].
14 
For He knows our [mortal] frame;
He remembers that we are [merely] dust.

We close with a reading from Psalm 103 by Hillsong

A new creation in the New Year

January 1, 2015

2 Corinthians-5--17

The Verse of Day for January 1, 2015 is the perfectly suited for the first day of the New Year:

II Corinthians 5:17 [Amplified Bible]:

 “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [creation—a new thing], old things are passed away. Behold, all things become new.”

This verse also provides a perfect follow-up for the Verse of the Day on the last day of 2014:

Isaiah 43: 16, 18-19

I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea. “But forget all that— it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.

Isaiah 42:9 makes known the same truth:

Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

“To do a thing” means “to work, to do, to make, to fashion, to improvise, to create, to produce.” In discussing the word “new” we find that term hadas is translated “new” in the sense of being fresh, recent—in contrast to the old or former. In Lamentations 3:23 the essence of the word “new” is “renewed”: God’s creation is renewed or refreshed by His compassion and loving kindness.

Lamentations 3:22-23 declares:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not; they are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Isaiah 48:6 also reminds us that God is continually revealing “new things”:

Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have showed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.

In the New Testament the Greek word kainos is translated “new,” in terms of that which is “unaccustomed or unused, not “new” in terms of time, or recent but “new” as to form or quality (sometimes translated “fresh”); e.g. “new tongues” or “new covenant,” “new commandment,” “new creative act—new creation,” or “new man.”

As we begin the New Year, we anticipate an awesome display of the “newness” or “freshness” of the power of God, who declares: Behold, I make all things new (Revelation 21:5). In light of the newness of life created in Christ Jesus, on the first day 2015, here is a poetic exhortation to

Arise to a New Place

After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven!

And the first voice which I had heard addressing me like

[the calling of] a war trumpet said, Come up here, and    

I will show you what must take place in the future.  

Revelation 4:1

 

In Christ you are free from the burdens you once bore.

The shackles of past shortcomings have been lifted,

For the yoke of guilt and shame you will bear no more.

Arise to a new place–all things I have shifted

 

The shackles of past shortcomings have been lifted.

No longer restricted, cast off every care.

Arise to a new place–all things I have shifted.

Even in darkest times I have always been there.

 

No longer restricted, cast off every care.

Released from bondage, reproach has been rolled away.

Even in your darkness I have always been there

Pure joy comes with the dawning of a brand new day.

 

Released from bondage, reproach has been rolled away

In a place where love abounds and peace never ends

Pure joy comes with the dawning of a brand new day

We walk together, hand in hand as faithful friends

 

Released from bondage, reproach has been rolled away

For the yoke of guilt and shame you will bear no more.

We walk together hand in hand as faithful friends.

In Christ you are free from the burdens you once bore.

Jump Street 3 offers a spirited, upbeat musical rendering of II Corinthians 5:17

Oh, give thanks: His mercy endures forever

November 29, 2014

Psalms-9  21-and-136 26The Psalms overflow with prayers of thanksgiving, as expressed in the Verse of the Day for November 29, 2014 found in Psalm 136:1, 26:

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.

For His mercy endures forever.

Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!

For His mercy endures forever.

One of the awesome attributes of God is that He is a God of mercy, and His mercy never fails. Although our Father is a God of justice, he tempers justice with grace and mercy. Justice has been defined as “getting exactly what one deserves.” Whereas grace is said to be unmerited favor or getting something that one does not deserve, while mercy is defined as “withholding merited judgment” or “not getting what one deserves. God ever displays His mercy toward His children, as Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

The mercy of God as expressed in Lamentations 3 is the inspiration behind one of my favorite hymns: “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Listen to this moving rendition of this timeless classic:

Throughout the Psalms, we see that God abounds in mercy:

Psalm 119: 64:

The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 57:10

For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.

Psalm 69:13

But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

Psalm 103:17

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

Israel Houghton and New Breed conclude this entry with this reminder: “Lord, You are Good and Your Mercy Endureth Forever”:

2 Corinthians 5:17: A new creation in Christ

January 1, 2014

?The Verse of the Day on January 1, 2014,  the first day of the New Year brings to mind the concept of newness or being made new.

2 Corinthians 5:17

 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

In part of the Verse of the Day for yesterday, the last day of the old year, God reminded us, “Behold, I will do a new thing. . .” To do a new thing means to work, to do, to make, to fashion, to improvise, to create, to produce something fresh and original.

Isaiah 42:9 also makes know this truth:

 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.

Lamentations 3:22-23 speak of newness in relationship to God:

 It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not; they are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

The word “new” is translated from the Hebrew word hadas, meaning new in the sense of being fresh, recent—in contrast to the old or former. In Lamentations 3:23 the essence of the word “new” is “renewed”:  God’s creation is renewed or refreshed by His compassion and loving kindness.

In the New Testament, “new” is translated from kainos, meaning that which is “unaccustomed or unused, not ‘new’ in terms of time, or recent but ‘new’ as to form or quality (sometimes translated “fresh”)The word is used to describe “a new creative act—new creation, a new man in II Corinthians 5:17 which is more clearly expressed in the Amplified Bible:

 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

Listen to a musical rendering of 2 Corinthians 5:17:

The Verse of the Day on the first day of the New Year reminds us once more of God’s declaration: “Behold, I make all things new.”