- John 14:6
Pictured herein is the annual New Year's celebration in the harbor of Sydney, Australia adjacent to the unmistakable Sydney Opera Hall. It is one of the earliest celebration each year due to the early arrival in its time zone and it is also one of the largest and most spectacular. And, of course, citizens around the world, both in the city and in rural areas hold celebrations to ring in the new year and pray for better things to come.
Many traditions have been created that are follow annually in addition to the fireworks displays. Some believe in a meal including cabbage and black-eyed peas for good luck and money, others treat it as a special part of the Twelve Days of the Old English Christmas with the singing of carols up until Twelfth Night and, of course, many watch the "Ball" drop in Times Square accompanied by the timeless Guy Lombardo rendition of Robert Burns' Auld Lang Syne.
All of these as well as the many other traditions of cultures the world over are great events, but today many of us have forgotten the time honored tradition of making New Year's resolutions, resolutions to change something we do or bad habit that we have that works to keep us from being the best we can be. It could involve diet, drink, time wasting, loss of productivity or anything that holds us back. And the idea of a resolution is to put it in writing and use it to guide us in the upcoming year so that we can measure the progress we make. It requires a seriousness of purpose, attention to detail and continuous follow up and measurement if we truly want to attain the desired goal and when we achieve the desired end we know we have accomplished something worthwhile and valuable.
But we can't leave it at that general level if we are believers and followers of the Christian faith, for as Christians we are expected to devote our lives to putting Jesus Christ first and living for Him. And that means in the context of this commentary that we need to renew by resolution our total commitment to Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. Since we are mortals, we will always make mistakes, but the point of including our allegiance to our faith as the foremost resolution helps us to quickly realize the errors of our ways and to redirect ourselves to things that are righteous and worthy of Him. And with the Holy Spirit as our inner guide, we have the resources available to know what needs to be done, thereby living up to our commitment.
If you are a believer in Christ, a New Year's resolution to recommit to Christ is a perfect way to reinforce those things that you want to accomplish. If you aren't a believer, might we suggest that you take a look at what Christianity is all about with an open heart and see what happens. The Prince of Peace is here for all of us and He wants us all to inherit the Kingdom if we learn to know Him and what He has done for us. After all, we have nothing to lose but lots to gain, for nothing is more important than gaining Eternal Life with all the joys and beauty it brings. At least think about it.
Happy New Year, everyone. Get those resolutions done and commit to following them every day of the year ahead. We'll all be surprised about the positive impact they can lead to when we approach the next New Year's celebration. God bless you all.