As the second hand joins the minute and hour hands at the top of the clock at midnight on New Year’s Eve, so the new year begins. Little actually changes in those moments, yet around half of us will have resolved to do something differently in the year ahead and some of us may actually succeed in sticking to our resolutions. We may have plans that we hope to see materialised as another year comes around. New years are often new beginnings.
I always enjoy the start of the new year for the Evangelical Magazine. There’s something quite exciting about seeing the plans you’ve made months before coming to fruition. Each January we usually begin new series that will run throughout the year. Reading good Christian books often has a powerful transformative impact on our lives and we’re going to have six people tell us about the books that have changed them. Whilst we’re talking about change, we want to offer a gentle challenge to try something new, asking ‘Why don’t you…?’ We’ll be learning about the next generation from those who work with young people. We’ll also be looking back with a snapshots of church history series and a selection of extracts on prayer from historical authors to help us learn from our past.
The ultimate new beginning is the return of Jesus when eternity breaks in fully. We wanted to begin the year with several articles that direct us to our future. Michael Ots challenges the secular worldview of heaven pointing us to the real hope in the Christian message – a good article to pass on. Drawing out our sense of longing for eternity, Heledd Job writes about our desire to feel at home. Stuart Olyott has given us a parable that helpfully explains what awaits us in the life beyond and my article tries to tackle some of the common questions that you might have.
With our other articles, the reviews and news, there’s plenty in this edition to help kickstart your new year.