Dear JWC family and friends,
Welcome to 2023! As we reconvene our administrative and instructional tasks in this new year, I’m forced to pause for a moment and think about what a “new year” means. In a certain sense, one might suggest that the New Year is meaningless and is just another day. But in another sense, there is always a sense of renewal with the arrival of January 1st. And in their own way, both perspectives are correct.
We live within time, and it is beneficial for us to have commemorative times on which to focus. God programmed Creation itself with this understanding of commemoration, setting celestial bodies “for signs and for seasons and for days and years” (Genesis 1:14 NASB). At the same time, I am reminded of the words of Paul in Romans 14:5, where Paul seems in a sense to minimize the celebration of holidays by noting that “one regards one day above another, another regards every day alike.” Indeed, there is no cosmic shift between December 31st and January 1st that makes its commemoration vital.
So, what does this mean for us? As a culture, it is good to recognize the change in season and remember important days, while we individually should recognize that each day – not just a holiday or special event – is a New Day, a new opportunity to serve and celebrate who God is and what He has done, is doing, and will do. We don’t need to wait for a change in the calendar to hold to the Renewal of Life (Lamentations 3:22-23)!
As we enter this new year, we do so with commemoration: it is a New Year, we have new classes starting, and there are new opportunities. But we also enter recognizing that the change in calendar does not mean that the old has vanished. On the positive end, our mission, vision, and values remain the same: we are still committed to a robust yet affordable Christian education. But our financial needs from last year are also still with us. Our work in recruitment and need for a new campus haven’t changed. But this is perhaps why we need to remember that each day alike is a New Day, and that each day, God proves Himself faithful to provide for His work. The challenge before us is whether we will prove faithful to Him, applying our hands to the task He has given us.
I pray that each day of this year, whether a holiday or not, will be equally devoted to God, and that I will always be faithful to the work before me as unto the Lord (Colossians 3:23-24). I pray the same for you. It is an exciting time for JWC, and if we are all faithful to Christ-centered work, giving, learning, living, and leading, then I believe it can be the best year for JWC yet. It can truly be not just a New Year, but a New Day!