January, the beginning of the new year and a time when many make New Year resolutions.
January was established as the first month of the year by the Roman calandar. It was named after the god Janus (Latin word for door). Janus had two faces which allowed him to look both backwards into the old year and forwards into the new one at the same time. He was the 'spirit of the opening'. This symbolism can easily be associated with the month known by many as the start of a new year which brings new opportunities. We cast out the old and welcome in the new. It is the time when many reflect on events of the previous year and often resolve to redress or improve some aspect of daily life or personal philosophy."
In the very earliest Roman calandar there were no months of January or February at all. The ancient Roman calandar had only 10 months and the new year started the year on March 1st. To the Romans 10 was a very important number. Even when January (or Januarius as the Romans called it) was added, The New Year continued to start in March. It remained so in England and her colonies until 200 years ago.
The Anglo-Saxons called the first month Wolf monath because wolves came into the villages in winter in search for food.
"In order to set the calendar right, the Roman senate, in 153 BC, declared January 1st to be the beginning of the new year. During the Middle Ages, the Church remained opposed to celebrating New Year's Day. January 1st has been celebrated as a holiday by Western nations for only about the past 400 years."
In the northern half of the world, January is usually the coldest month of the year.Nature is quiet. Birds travel less, and such animals as bears and woodchucks sleep both day andnight. Plants rest in preparation for the next growing season. In the southern half of the world, January is usually the warmest month of the year. Plants grow and animals are active.
This time of year has a beauty all it's own. Take the time to enjoy it. Don't wait until tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come. This is a good time to share with you a beautiful poem relating to this thought. I hope you will enjoy it.
I may never see tomorrow; there's no written guarantee,
And things that happened yesterday belong to history.
I cannot predict the future, and I cannot change the past.
I have just the present moment; I must treat it as my last.
I must use this moment wisely for it soon will pass away,
And be lost to me forever as a part of yesterday.
I must exercise compassion, help the fallen to their feet,
Be a friend unto the friendless, make an empty life complete.
I must make this moment precious for it will not come again,
And I can never be content with things that might have been.
Kind words I fail to say this day may ever be unsaid,
For I know not how short may be the path that lies ahead.
The unkind things I do today may never be undone,
And friendships that I fail to win may nevermore be won.
I may not have another chance on bended knee to pray,
And thank my God with humble heart for giving me this day.
I may never see tomorrow, but this moment is my own.
It's mine to use or cast aside; the choice is mine, alone.
I have just this precious moment in the sunlight of today,
Where the dawning of tomorrow meets the dusk of yesterday.
-Paul F. Barnett
Especially, may we use this time, this moment, to be busy in spiritual activity. Since this is a new year perhaps we can encourage our neighbors who are making New Year resolutions to think about studying the Bible.
May we too set spiritual goals that will draw us closer to Jehovah, and to one another, and that will help us maintain our joy in serving him.
January, a time of beauty, a Currier and Ives scene, a time of serene peacfulness and delightful memories, that only winter can bring.This is Raven-as the crow flies!