Happy New Year! When we were kids (and poor) we stepped out the door and banged pots and pans and hollered – now we just shout to each other “Happy New Year” and give a little kiss. We do still manage to stay up past midnight – usually having played a few hours of games with friends and family. Time honored traditions of celebrating the coming of another year and the passing of the old. Maybe you shoot off fireworks, attend parties, raise a toast to the new, or even usher in the year at church with a fellowship and devotion time. However you do it, you say good-bye to the previous year and welcome the new one.
Unfortunately, we have a bad way of concentrating on the celebrations of the year and forgetting what is really important. At Easter, we hunt eggs, eat candy, and have dinner with the family and forget it’s about the resurrection from the dead of Jesus Christ who died sacrificially to save us from our sins and rose victorious over death and hell to give us that same power through Him. At Halloween, we give precedence to ghosts and witches and goblins over All Saints Day and forget that God has given us freedom from the power of evil, if we’ll just follow Him. Thanksgiving has become more about turkey and football and time off work as we enjoy all our blessings without really spending too much time being thankful for them. And we just came through Christmas where it has become all about Santa and presents, decorations and parties, too often forgetting what the celebration is for – honoring the entrance of God into our world as a baby in Bethlehem, so that He could eventually provide the payment for our sins and bridge the gap between us that we had created. Lest we repeat this process in 2016, let’s start fresh, just as we should at a new year.
In one way or another, we all “rang in the New Year”, so let’s take the time to “wring out the old one”. Squeeze every drop of “bad” out of 2015, so it doesn’t go into 2016 with us. In the process, we’ll make ourselves more absorbant for the good that God will be sending our way this year. Let’s school ourselves as we enter the new year and get all “Fs”. Forget the bad times of the past year and the pain they may have caused; Forgive those who did you wrong and hurt you; Feel for those who are hurting and in need and Find ways to help them; Face the future with hope and determination to make a difference; and Forge a Fresh pathway of Faith for yourself and your Family, influencing Friends to do the same.
Ring in the New Year and celebrate another opportunity to serve the God who loves you enough to give you another chance to get it right! Wring out everything that hinders you from doing so!