I remember many New Year’s Eve celebrations with Grandpa O. He and Grandma would invite friends and family over for a fun evening of games and good food. But as the clock neared midnight, he would gather us all in the living room and Grandpa would “pray in” the new year. I always loved hearing him pray, but especially on New Year’s Eve. All of us sensed Grandpa’s deep love for God and listening to him give thanks for the year past and speak blessing into the year to come was truly hallowed. I think we all felt that, no matter what the next year would bring or how badly we would mess up, at least we started it off right.
PB (my hubby, short for Pastor Blake) remembers when, as a boy, he would climb up in the church belfry and “ring in” the new year. Walking through the dark, empty church at midnight was eerie; one’s imagination could run rampant climbing up the steps to the belfry. He recalls grabbing the dangling rope, pulling with all his weight and being lifted right off the ground as the bell began ringing. The Methodists joined in with the ringing of the Catholic and Baptist bells to announce the new year had begun.
We did not “pray in” or “ring in” 2011. We went to a movie and went to bed early! But today I am giving some serious thought to a new start, a fresh beginning. I will start a new journal and make a list of goals. I will pick out a Bible verse to pray for my children throughout the year and decide what to study. I will choose a hymn to memorize and begin a new page of prayer requests. In with the new!
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19