Happy New Year

I have to admit, as a teacher, I rarely saw January 1 as a new beginning. For me, the start of the school year marked the start of another year. Consequently, January 1 was more of an anti-climactic holiday, a Christmas after-thought, noted mostly for the last breather before heading into the long stretch before Easter.

Now that I’m no longer tied to the school calendar, I find myself freed up to think about New Year’s Day in a new way. Frankly, I’m more mystified than anything. I watched the celebrations summary on the late news which recapped the festivities around the world, and I couldn’t help but think, What’s the big deal?

Seriously.

What exactly changed between December 31 and January 1? And why would we think this is something to celebrate?

I have to say, I’ve sensed a stronger note of hope and expectation in the references to the new year, mostly from members of the media, and I can’t help but wonder if some of this undercurrent of excitement might not be connected with President-elect Obama. The media critiquing the media even notes that he is referred to as a messiah.

Be that as it may, the truth revealed in Scripture points to One Hope, and one only—the long awaited arrival of the once Suffering Servant, now as the Eternal King. That’s something to hope for, look forward to, be eagerly expectant about.

The New Year? Not so much. In this world I can confidently predict 2009 will hold political corruption, corporate greed, personal crime. Individuals will steal from friends and from strangers. Gangs will war against each other. Terrorists will plot against people who have no evil intent against them. Husbands will break their vows. Wives will nag their husbands. Children will disobey their parents. And God will be dishonored in any number of ways by any number of people.

So why would we put hope in the passing of one day and the coming of another with a different numeral attached to it when nothing else has changed? I can only surmise that this idea of hope in a new year, a new President, a new collection of governmental advisers and division heads comes from those who don’t have a sense of what constitutes true Hope. The eternal kind that provides a permanent answer to the human condition.

To be honest, I’m sad for those who today look ahead with excitement for the wrong reasons. They have disillusionment waiting for them, and eventually, despair. Would that those of us who know what Hope really is, use 2009 to widely disseminate the truth.

Selfishly I want to say, Maranatha—come quickly, Lord Jesus. Yet, doesn’t He delay for the very purpose of bringing all those into His family who belong there? I can’t want His return to come a moment earlier than what He has planned. I can want revival in His church, though, with accompanying testimony to God’s greatness and goodness.

May 2009 be a year in which many come to Christ and in which God’s name is glorified throughout the world, in times of suffering as well as in times of blessing.

Published in: on January 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm  Comments (5)  
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5 Comments

  1. Amen, Becky. Excellent post.

    (I had one of a similar vein, but MSN has had horrendous problems since yesterday, and I can’t access my email or my blog on Typepad. So frustrating.)

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  2. A-men, Becky! This is an awesome encouragement to me today! Thank you my friend!!

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  3. Nicole and Kim, thanks for taking time to respond. It’s always an encouragement to hear from either of you.

    Nicole, I’m sorry for your online issues! Been there, and it is not fun! 😦

    Becky

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  4. Hi Becky,
    New Years, I went to my inlaws as usual where we played games and waited for the big ball to drop in New York like a lot of other folks. At midnight we blew horns and hugged and kissed each other, wished each other “Happy New Year”, went home and went to bed.
    Typical for a lot of people on new years I guess.
    Today I came to work and talked to a friend of mine who has had a very bad 2008, miscarriage, marriage problems, etc. She told me of a very interesting thing that her mother and father do every new year, and this year she did it too. At midnight they open all the windows, and the front and back doors and let the cold wind “clean out all of 2008’s problems” My friend doesn’t know where her parents got the tradition of doing this, but for her it was such a bad year she was looking for “change” and hope.
    My friend is not saved but has recently been attending a bible believing church, and she is on my prayer list for salvation. As you said changing the calendar to a new year doesn’t lesson our past years pains or struggles, but the idea of letting the wind blow away the troubles of the year reminded me of the Holy Spirit and the wind of Acts 2.
    I shared the scripture with my friend and explained the change of the people’s hearts and minds in the upper room. Perhaps this scripture and her own experience of the “wind at midnight” will open her heart to the Holy Spirit.
    Thanks Becky for being a great neighbor, friend, and sister in the Lord.
    gil

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  5. What a great opportunity to share Christ in a way your friend would be apt to hear, Gil. Awesome!

    And thank you for … what, fifteen years? … of emulating neighborliness. You and your family are much missed!

    Becky

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