My older brother in California sent us a lovely email last night. It highlighted all the reasons why he is super excited about the New Year. I tend to foofaa New Year’s day. I am always glad for a fresh start, but it doesn’t seem like much bigger business than the changing of the month or week. However, my brother’s email got me thinking that I may have to change my mind about that.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
I am so thankful for new beginnings. When God created the heavens and the earth, aren’t you glad he made seasons, day and night, and other obvious ways to see passing time and thus feel new beginnings? If all of time were just one day, once we mess up the entire day is messed up. As a flawed human being, I love the fact that we can start fresh in a little way every morning and in a bigger way every month, year, century, etc.
There are two reasons why my brother is still excited about the change of year, and I tend to agree with him. First of all, life is varied. You could say, ah but 2015 will just be another year just like the last. However, years are not always the same.
My brother’s argument goes something like this, if every year was the same as the last then we would be able to predict the future. We cannot predict the future, thus life is varied.
Also, as much as it may seem that history is a cyclical mess of humans making mistakes, that is just not true. Life is a process. God is working on the earth today to gain his church, his bride. Eventually he will return to establish his kingdom and bring in the New Jerusalem. That means that since the fall 6,000 years ago life has been slowly, if not invisibly, moving upwards. We are closer to that glorious day than we have ever been before.
1 Peter 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Highlights of 2014
And since no one could hope to say it quite like Alfred Lord Tennyson, I would like to finish this post with a new year’s poem from him. As this was a year with much loss and grieving both personally and in world events, this poem really spoke to me:
In Memoriam, [Ring out, wild bells]
Lord Alfred Tennyson, 1809 – 1892
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.