Getting the new year off to a good start

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Dear friends in Christ,

Happy New Year! I hope 2024 brings you much joy.

Many people treat the change of calendar as a time to try to begin new habits or end old ones. This is a deeply Christian practice, actually. You see, forming new habits that are good for us is nothing less than a form of repentance—heading in a new direction. Lent is a traditional time for repentance, but so is Advent. And there’s no reason to miss the opportunity given by a new year.

When I listen to people tell me about their changes for the new year, folks are often looking to make changes related to health. They want to eat better, or sleep more, or exercise more regularly. These may be just what we need. But I also hope we will look at habits that help our souls.

The new year is a good time to begin or deepen a practice of daily prayer. Forward Movement offers lots of support for you in daily prayer, and I encourage you to check out our (free!) prayer website.

This is also a good time to renew our engagement with scripture. To that end, Forward Movement offers the Good Book Club, which starts on the feast of the Epiphany this year, January 6. This year, people across the country will read Genesis together. You can join with a group in your local community, or you can take part online with Episcopalians and others from around the world. You can learn more at the Good Book Club website.

There are plenty of other good habits that disciples can work on, too. I encourage you to reflect on how you can use the gift of a new year to grow closer to Jesus.

Don’t worry that it’s January 3. With Jesus Christ, it’s never too late. Every day is a chance to live a new life in Christ Jesus. So, happy new year and happy new life.

Yours faithfully,

Scott Gunn's signature

Scott Gunn
Executive Director

More from our ministry:

Reflect on baptism this Lent with our new devotional: Will You?

Go deeper into a key book of the Bible: A Journey through Genesis

Pray on the go with devotional and Daily Office podcasts

A beautiful, portable way to pray: Hour by Hour