January 6, 2019

Expectations for the New Year

Julius Caesar instituted January 1 as the first day of the year in 45 BC. When Julius became the emperor, he inherited a calendar system that had all kinds of problems. After consulting an astronomer, Caesar decided to follow the solar year, which lasted about 365¼ days. The Julian calendar worked fairly well until the Middle Ages, when scholars found that it was off by about 11 minutes per year. By the year 1500, the calendar was off by 10 days. In 1570, Pope Gregory commissioned a new calendar, which established a leap year, in which an extra day would be added to the end of February every four years. And that’s the calendar system we still follow today.[1]

Many of us keep track of events and plans by using a calendar. Just about every weekday, I check my calendar multiple times to see what is next on the agenda. I’m not sure how I could keep track of plans without an accurate calendar.

A calendar tells us a lot about the coming year, but even with a calendar, we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. We make plans for the future, we write things on our calendars, but we don’t know whether those plans will work out or not.

We’ve just begun a new year, and it’s a good time to consider our plans for the future. From a biblical point of view, what can we say about the new year? Let’s consider this morning several biblical expectations for the new year:

[1] “New Year’s Day.” History.com editors. www.history.com/this-day-in-history/new-years-day. Accessed Dec 12, 2018.

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