There are two “New Years” in our calendar year. The first is the one celebrated on January 1st. It lasts for a day. The second and real “New Year” is the one that begins the day after Labor Day and is marked by the beginning of school. It changes our rhythms for the next nine months.
The real New Year forces us to re-establish necessary patterns, schedules and practices. If there was one thing you knew you needed to re-establish in your spiritual life at the dawn of this new year, what would it be?
Jesus answers that question for us in the Greatest Command: Connect with God and one another. Let’s say that I get a wild hair to go skydiving. I receive 2 weekends of instruction and then I head off for the big jump. Suppose there are 5 of us in the plane heading for jump location. 60 seconds out the instructor says, “Now listen up! You’ve all been in class now for about 8 hours. We’re jumping in 45 seconds. The most important thing for you to remember as you jump is . . . And the guy in line in front of me starts coughing – I didn’t hear what the instructor said.
Just then I hear the instructor say, “We’re jumping in 15 seconds, does anyone have anything to say/ask?” What is my response to that going to be? “Yes! What is the most important thing for me to know and apply? I didn’t hear it and my very life depends on it!
Jesus said that our very lives and eternity hang/rest/depend on one most important thing - The Greatest Commandment. And the Great Commandment says that first and foremost, above and before every other thing, you and I have been created to exult and worship and bring honor and attention to God! We can’t let that dwindle away in any season of the year.