On the Occasion of the Start of a New Year
The New Year is not only a change in the calendar but it is a change in life to better, meaning that we start on it a new life that is purer.
The person who talked the most about this
issue of “new” is prophet Ezekiel in (Ez 18:31),
(Ez 11:19), (Ez 36:25-27).
He said “Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit” (Ez 18:31).
Also said that God is the One who grants us the
new heart and the new spirit so in (Ez 11:19) the
Lord says “19Then I will give them one heart, and I
will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony
heart out of their flesh” and repeated the same in (Ez
36:25-27) and added “Then I will sprinkle clean water
on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you
from all your filthiness… I will put My Spirit within you
and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will
keep My judgments and do them”.
So God since the Old Testament wants us to
have a new heart and a new spirit so that we
can walk in His statutes and His judgment and
His grace works in us.
How beautiful is His saying “I will put My Spirit
within you”… this phrase as in the New Testament!
And prophet David says in the Fiftieth Psalm “Create
in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast
spirit within me.” Meaning recreate in him a clean
And the newness issue comes in everything to the
extent that he says in more than one psalm “Oh, sing
to the LORD a new song!” (Ps 96:1). Meaning praise
with a new spirit. Non-routine praise, as the one who
prays the psalm quickly without knowing what he is
saying, but a new praise that is full of spirit, heart,
passion and faith. And full of his being in the presence
of God and meekness before Him.
But in the New Testament, suffice it to say
that it carries the “new” its name.
The Lord for example says to disciple in the
Eucharist Sacrament (Communion): “For this is My
blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for
the remission of sins” (Mt 26:28)… Meaning that you,
in communion, you enter in a new testament and a
new life with God, not come out of its as you are
without changing as if you did not benefit from it in
So you must think of the New Year, to change to
better and pray saying: Grant me, O Lord, the new
heart and the new spirit, as you promised me both in
prophet Ezekiel’s Book. And you are honest in your
This renewal process is applied first in the
As came in the epistle to Romans about baptism
“…even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Ro
6:4). Meaning in the new life that we get through
And in the epistle to Titus he says “…but
according to His mercy He saved us, through the
washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy
Spirit” (Ti 3:5).
So we in baptism are washed through the
washing of the second birth. So we get a second birth
and get the renewal of the Holy Spirit. Not only that
but the apostle also says in his epistle to Galatians
“For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have
put on Christ.” (Ga 3:27). And the meaning of put on
Christ is that you have worn the righteousness and
the power that are of Christ’s.
And the bible says also “if anyone is in
Christ, he is a new creation; old things have
passed away; behold, all things have become
new.” (2 Co 5:17).
So can each of us say this statement in the new
year: old things have passed away; behold, all things
have become new?! Or are you still as you were!!...
And here we should know: what is the new creation?
And the first thing is that you should go back
to your original form in God’s image and
according to His likeness.
So that is how God created the human from the
beginning (Gn 1:26, 27). But through sin we lost this
divine image, but we gained it back through baptism
and we regain it back everyday through repentance.
So do we now go by what is up to God’s image and
In addition to God’s image, in baptism we
also gained sonship to God.
So is the behavior of each of us suitable for him
being God’s son? God’s sons do not sin. Here is St
John the apostle says that “whoever is born of God
does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps
himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.” (1
Jn 5:18). And what about him who sin? He says “He
who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from
the beginning… In this the children of God and the
children of the devil are manifest” (1 Jn 3:8, 10).
And from the side of the devil’s sons, the Lord
said to the sinful Jews “You are of your father the
devil, and the desires of your father you want to do”
In the new creation we become God’s sons and
God’s image. And what else?
In the new creation we become also a
temple for the Holy Spirit.
St. Paul the Apostle says “Do you not know that
you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God
dwells in you” (1 Co 3:16). So do you my brother
realize this fact and work with what complies with a
human in whom God’s Spirit dwells in?! As yourself.
The Lord says “If anyone loves Me, he will keep
My word; and My Father will love him, and We will
come to him and make Our home with him” (Jn
14:23). Meaning that the Father and the Son live in
him and initially he had the Holy Spirit living in him,
meaning that in him, with grace, there is the Father,
the Son and the Holy Spirit!!
This Holy Heart which became like this is this new
Also as a new creation, you take the spirit of
The weak person cannot be God’s image and
likeness. For we say in the Trisagion: Holy God, Holy
So, the spiritual person, that God wanted to dwell
with His Spirit in, is supposed to be a strong person.
Not strong over other humans, but strong over the
world, to have triumph over the world and over the
devil. And be powerful to have triumph over the sin
and the sin never have triumph over him. H should be
strong in his personality, in his power and his effect…
The Lord Christ told his disciples before He
ascends “you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit
has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to
Me” (Ac 1:8).
So could you be in a state of weakness or in
devastation as if you are definitely lost and then say:
I am God’s image and likeness?! Or I am God’s son
and a new creation?! No, for the new creation takes
the blessing that God promised the winners with (Rv
2, 3). And this is the creation to whom He said
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on
serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the
enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Lk
The Lord Christ said “be of good cheer, I have
overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). Some may say: we
know Lord that you have overcome the world because
you are mighty. But what about us the dust and
ashes? And the Lord answers:
I have overcome the world in your human
nature which I united with so that your human
nature becomes qualifies to overcome the
And the world here is not people but as the
apostle says “For all that is in the world--the lust of
the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…
And the world is passing away, and the lust of it” (1
This is the new creation to whom God gave
power to overcome the world.
Also God gave the new creation the nature
which overcomes death through rising from the
Therefore, it is said about rising “For this
corruptible must put on incorruption” (1 Co 15:53).
And we tell the Lord in our prayer over the dead:
“Because there is no death for your servants but a
departure” Why no death? Because God gave the new
creation the ability to overcome death through rising
from the dead. And so St. Paul the apostle says “O
Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your
victory?” (1 Co 15:54, 55).
All these things were said about the new creation.
So are you on the beginning of the new year feel
that you have become a new creation? And that you
are different from before and that you have returned
back to being God’s image and became a true son on
This does not mean that you are hiding behind a
As if you say I am regularly going to church,
regularly confessing and taking communion and
regularly fasting and praying. While all these are
images from outside or this is just a piece of
unshrunk cloth on an old garment (Mt 9:16). This doe
not work my brother, the whole garment should
change. And your change should be from the inside.
For the bible says “The royal daughter is all glorious
within the palace” (Ps 45:13, 14) although Her
clothing is woven with gold and She shall be brought
to the King in robes of many colors.
Gold accessories and robes are all matters from
outside. But what really is important is in the heart
from inside that changes and becomes a new heart
and the person becomes with a new spirit.
And the apostle says “be transformed by the
renewing of your mind” (Ro 12:2).
So the change process includes renewing the
mind. And renewing the mind happens in repentance
life through renewing in bases, values, concepts and
all your thoughts, aspirations and directions in life.
It was said in the Revelation book “the former
things have passed away." Then He who sat on the
throne said, "Behold, I make all things new."” (Rv
Yes everything, even the commandments that
you have heard in the past has taken a new concept
in Christianity. Love, for example has taken a new
form which is “For God so loved the world that He
gave…” (Jn 3:16). So love means giving oneself. And
love others mean give yourself. And love even your
enemies and those trespass against you.
O Lord, we hope you give us this renewal in our
And make this year new in everything that
complies with Your good and righteous will. And give
us the new heart that loves you and applies your
commandments and goes by what satisfies your will…
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