“The Lord spoke to Moses: “Tell the Israelites: In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you are to have a day of complete rest, commemoration, and joyful shouting —a sacred assembly. You must not do any daily work, but you must present a fire offering to the Lord.” (Leviticus 23:23–25, HCSB)
The Day of Atonement, also known as Yom Kippur, is a time to reflect on the wrong someone has done in the past year, and to ask forgiveness. The purpose was to “wipe the slate clean” for the new year, and to commit to follow God more passionately than the previous year.
Today, people make New Year resolutions to try to improve themselves in the coming year. Perhaps it is losing weight, or accepting a new challenge, or trying something new. The key word is “try.” The fact is that many people make resolutions, but they are unable to fulfill them. As a result, they feel guilty about what was left unaccomplished.
Perhaps we should look at the New Year as a time to celebrate God’s goodness, commemorate what God has done in our lives, and to rest in the knowledge that by His grace. Perhaps we should resolve to move forward in the new year by enjoying God and being satisfied in Him. Let Him make the changes that we so desire, without the stress and guilt that comes from trying and failing our resolutions.