September for me has a greater sense of new beginnings than the beginning of the Christian year on Advent Sunday, or the new year on January 1st. It's those rituals of new shoes, new uniform, the photos we take of the kids in their new finery, the procession of parents with kids on the first day of term after the absence of the same going past the house for the last six weeks; all this- whether actual or imprinted in the memory as experienced by us as children or parents- gives September and the start of school a sharp reality.
'New every morning is the love' says the hymn, echoing the psalmist, rejoicing in the freshness of God's love, the new beginnings it offers. And new beginnings are what, I'm sure, we all long for in some way or another- a new start, a clean page. Let it be unmarked by blots, mistakes, smudges! Unlikely, given entrenched patterns, favourite paths, blind prejudices.
But the hope is held out to us, indeed, the reality is held out to us; 'Behold', says Jesus, 'I make all things new'.