As we turn the calendar to a new year, as we approach the end of Christmas, and as we look to the gift laid in the manger, we see and look toward this new day with HOPE. Gifts have been opened, and the ball in Times Square has been dropped, and we look forward to the new year with anticipation that it will be better than the last year. That is not a uniquely 2021 hope, but rather every year, at this time as people want to do something to improve themselves in hopes that this will be the year they will improve. However, our focus should be on the gifts that come from the Lord.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. (NIV)