All things new
January 4 2001 by Tony Cartledge , BR Editor

All things new | Thursday, Jan. 4, 2001

Thursday, Jan. 4, 2001

All things new

By Tony Cartledge BR Editor

The new millennium is finally here, for real - or at least, as real as something relative can be. I've chafed all year with every reference to 2000 as the first year of the new millennium. For reasons that have been explained many times, it just wasn't so. If math means anything, 2000 is the last year of the previous millennium, not the first year of the next. But, it has been hard to get worked up about either year, because the authors of the Gregorian calendar missed the year of Jesus' birth by a mile. The 2000th anniversary of the nativity passed several years ago.

Peoples around the world have entirely different concepts of time. The commonly used Gregorian Jan. 1, 2001, parallels 5 Shawwal 1421 - give or take a few days - on the Islamic calendar; 23 Kikahk 1717 on the Coptic calendar; 12 Dey 1379 on the Persian calendar and 6 Teveth 5761 on the Hebrew calendar; and Cycle 78, year 17, month 12, day 7 on the Chinese calendar.

Calendars begin in different places: While the Gregorian calendar begins with the reported date of Jesus' birth, the Islamic calendar is based on Mohammed's flight into exile at Medina. Hindu dates begin at the creation of the earth, Jewish time started with the birth of Adam, and the Chinese started (and started over) when a new emperor assumed his sacred position, and so on.

How we name the days is relative, and people of different national, ethnic or religious backgrounds may do it differently. If time had feelings, it wouldn't care.

How we use the days we have is a more practical matter. Every new year begins with a new day. Every new day offers a new opportunity for growth and life, for loving others more deeply and for walking with God more closely.

Every new day offers a chance to pray:

O God our help in ages past,

our hope for years come -

we remember what has been.

You have been gracious to us,

You have blessed us more than we deserve,

and walked with us through the storms.

You have blessed us with food to eat,

with clothing to wear,

with homes to enjoy

and with money to spend.

You have blessed our churches

and touched us with Your presence.

As we remember, we thank You.

And as we recall what has been,

we wonder what will be.

What will this year bring forth?

Will we grow in love or in hate?

In unity or in division?

In joy or in sorrow?

In service or in selfishness?

Our hearts are in Your hands,

our hopes are in Your heart.

Help us in this year

To trust You more fully,

To serve You more freely.

Open our eyes to the needs that surround us,

Let our arms show Your comfort and care.

Help us to be makers of peace and givers of mercy,

towers of justice and vessels of love.

May we live for You as Christ lived for us,

Who lived and lives and rules forever,


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1/4/2001 12:00:00 AM by Tony Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments
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