Here we are in September – my favourite month of the year. It always seems to bring with it a sense of anticipation and of the beginning of a new chapter. I know many people feel the same as the start of a new academic year (in England) fills the shops with new stationery and planners.
I even moved my birthday celebration with its promise of cards and gifts from its real date of 1st January to my late grandmother’s birthday of 7th September for several years. It seemed so much nicer in September when the weather is usually better and almost certainly warmer than it is in January and – a huge plus for me, suffering as I do from Seasonal Affective Disorder – the days are lighter and therefore seem longer.
Plus, I could pretend that I was nine months younger than I really was!
The change of date lasted only a few years till I reached another big decade-beginning birthday, which I felt I had to celebrate on the correct date and so January it’s been ever since.
Of course, in many ways, January 1st, my real birthdate, is the obvious date for beginning a new chapter and people often make New Year’s resolutions then.
Yet, as Christians, every new day carries with it the promise of a new beginning; whether that day is in January, September or any other month. Each new day gives us the chance to begin a new chapter, to write the next bit of our life’s story on a clean page, forgiven and renewed. Surely the best gift, birthday or otherwise, we’ve ever been given.