Study Material: John 9:4
4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
On 9 July 2011, South Sudan was declared an independent nation carved out of the nation of Sudan. This ended the toxic relationship between Sudanese in the north and Sudanese in the south. Each region was now independent of each other and could move forward with the support of the world. This was to be a new beginning for Sudanese from the southern region. This was their chance at self-rule, ending years of what they saw as oppression and marginalization. We crave new beginnings and new opportunities, most especially when things are going awry. But often when we get them, we do not use them well. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith (Gal 6:10). This New Year gives us the opportunity to be good to ourselves and to others. It is a chance to do better and be better. All we have is now. We have to work now because a time is coming soon when we will not have this opportunity (v4).
South Sudan, predominantly Christian, is now caught up in a civil crisis. After years of fighting with their predominantly Muslim brethren in the north, they gained their independence. Their newly found freedom was a golden opportunity. Instead of building and fostering unity after being liberated as a people, they are now fighting amongst themselves in their new country.
What do you do with the gift of new beginnings? Do you even see the opportunities those new beginnings present? What have you planned for this new year? What will be different? Jesus said: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (Jn 10:10b). A new year of life is a gift; and Jesus came to deliver that gift to you.
Take Home Lesson: Each second of life is a gift from God. Cherish it and live it to the best Godly standards that you possibly can.
Homework: Thank God for the opportunity to have a new year and a new beginning. Ask for the grace to use it well.