We have landed in the new year and it is again the Lord's year.
When I was a youth, I was usually on retreat over New Year and we would, in good pietistic fashion, pick a Bible verse out of the hat to help us guide through the year.
I don't believe in this kind of randomness, but this morning I'm looking for a Bible verse. I think I'll pick it from the new Treasury of Prayer. See what the readings are for today.
Isaiah 61: 10-11
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest
with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to sprout up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness
to sprout up before all the nations.
I like C.F. Walther's writing that is printed out for the day, also.
"...Now then, all of you who believe in God's Word, let your watchword for entering the new year be this: "I am baptized!". Although the world may laugh at this comfort, the enthusiasts vex its confidence... nevertheless, abandon any other dearly held pledges and speak only throughout the entire year to come, in all terrors of conscience and necessity through sin and death: " I am baptized! I am baptized! Hallelujah!" And you shall prevail! In every time of need, you will find comfort in your Baptism; on account of it Satan will flee from your faith and confession; and in death you will see heaven opened and will finally come into the joy of your Lord to celebrate a great year of jubilee, a year of praise, with all the angels forever and ever. Amen!"
This may be hard to understand for some. But standing on your baptism means you take your ground in God's work, thus you avoid both pride and despair, but find the right confidence. Just as the Lord, himself, will cause righteousness and praise to sprout up.