As a child, New Year’s Eve was a big deal. Usually we were at our grandparents’. There would be food and games and laughter right until it came time for the ball to drop in New York. Then we’dcrowd around the TV counting down until the new year. (Of course in Wisconsin it was only 11:00 pm, but what did we know? The ball had dropped and it was Happy New Year!).
Do they still do that? It’s been many years since I’ve watched the ball drop. It doesn’t have the same appeal it once did. Now I hope to ring in the new year by being fast asleep. Yet there is something different about the start of a new year – a hint of possibility, a promise of a fresh start. Even if nothing changes with the turning of the calendar, the new year still feels different.
The early Methodists seized this moment to rededicate themselves to God for the coming year. At “Watch Night” services they would count down the minutes with worship, then renew their covenant with God. We will not be doing that at Resurrection this year (remember at midnight on New Year’s Eve I like to be asleep). But we will renew our covenant with God during worship on January 2nd. Think of it like renewing wedding vows – a wonderful way to start the year together with God.
If you deduct charitable giving on your taxes, your gifts to the church must be received by December 31st for them to count towards 2021.
The next sermon series starts January 9 – “Chance #2022”