HAPPY NEW YEAR

Should old friends and yesterdays be forgotten? That is the question that revelers will be asking in unison tonite. Curiously, Auld Lang Syne’s author, Robert Burns, the greatest Scottish poet who ever lived, did not publish it in his lifetime, perhaps because it did not meet his standards of artistic profundity. Superficially it’s a vacuous ditty that never answers the question yet, in the mystery of rhymes and words, it provokes deep feelings as only poetry can in the nostalgia of New Year’s Eve.

The Bible makes it crystal clear that remembering is a very big deal—the word appears 234 times—none clearer that Deuteronomy 8:18—“You shall remember the LORD your God…” Israel had seven divinely, meticulously mandated annual festivals, and three of them were specifically about remembering God and His great miracles on their behalf. But New Year’s Eve wasn’t one of them. Nevertheless, as the culture worships at the altar of old and new, it’s a great time to remember the blessings of God and joyfully anticipate another year of earthly life in the palm of His hand.

At this stage of my life time has accelerated—New Year’s Eve occurs more frequently and all my yesterdays are as last night’s lightning flashes. I remember them as miraculous manifestations of that Light of The World that knit me in my mother’s womb and holds me in the palm of His hand and controls my next breath and has even grander plans for me beyond my comprehension. So I’ll celebrate by remembering my unmerited blessings and be deep in a long winter’s sleep as the ball falls, with visions of a Happy New Year that will never end. Our God reigns!

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