Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wonderful works to the sons of men!
Psalm 107:8
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
I’ve lived away my hometown of Whittier, CA for the past 26 years. During the years when my dad was alive, he would always ask me on January 1, when we spoke for the first time in a new year, “where did the new year find you?” I always laughed to myself when he asked the question—I knew what he meant (where was I when the New Year began), but I always said to myself, “I wasn’t lost and needing finding by the New Year or anyone else.”
The question, however, actually is a good one, and I leave it with you for the last message I will write in 2020. In a few hours, the year 2020 will end and another year will begin. Most of you reading this message already have made your plans for tonight—for some it will be going to a party, others will spend a quiet evening at home, and a few may actually plan to fall asleep before midnight. I hope all of you plan to start the New Year with a visit to your local church, if not tomorrow, then this coming Sunday.
The New Year will find each of us, especially our hearts, in a different way. Some hearts are heavy with sadness, grief, disappointment and frustration. Some hearts are beset with uncertainty and worry. Some hearts are beating with joy and happiness. Some are filled with regret, and others with optimism.
However your heart is beating, it hasn’t beat once yet in 2021. So when the clock strikes midnight tonight, and the New Year “finds you,” when your heart beats for the first time in 2021, let it beat with gratitude and thankfulness. I know that at parties, when midnight strikes and we are in a room filled with people, there is noise and cheering, there is toasting and drinking, and there are kisses and embracing. For those who will stay up to greet the new year, sometime after midnight and before you go to bed, say a prayer and thank God for a new year, and ask Him to give you first and foremost a thankful heart, that is eager to do works of thanksgiving to glorify Him.
When we have thankful hearts, it is harder for them to be sad, disappointed, frustrated and worried. When we have thankful hearts, it is easier for them to be filled with joy, happiness and optimism. So great the year with a thankful heart, embracing the possibilities and blessings that this New Year and new start can bring.
Lord, thank You for the year that is ending. Allow me to enter into a New Year first and foremost with thanksgiving and gratitude. Let me enter the New Year truly ready to make a new start in certain areas of my life (list them). Keep me and everyone else safe tonight and let us enter a New Year with health, safety, joy and gratitude. Amen.
Let the New Year find you with a grateful heart!