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By Jerroll Martens, Chaplain

“Moses, my servant, is dead …” Joshua 1:2

These words to Joshua spoke of a past and of a future similar to the idea of the New Year. Moses is dead. A simple and direct statement. It was not needed for information, for Joshua already knew he was dead. Rather it seems to mark that a leader and a time was gone, not to return.

We also face this reality. The past year is gone, not to return. Perhaps we recall joys, sadness, failures, successes or regrets, but they are in the past. We must not dwell too long on its sorrows or even its joys but look to the future before us. And, we must be so thankful to a forgiving Lord who will forgive our sin and failure of the past and allow us to go forward in a new year.

Note the kind of person Moses was, a servant. Yes, he was perhaps the greatest of all human leaders, yet he was a servant who belonged to God. Jesus reminded us that to be great is to be a servant.

The next words to Joshua were “Arise, go …” There was work to be done, as a nation needed him as their new leader. The Jewish people of several million had been slaves in Egypt and had wandered in the desert for 40 years. They now needed to be settled in their new land. Of course, the future was unknown and fearful. The only thing certain was God’s promises.

So, it is with us. The unknown of the new year may bring fear. We too must go, resting in the promises of a great God. Happy New Year!

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