By Lynn Moffett
Special to The PREVIEW
On New Year’s Eve, the weather forced me to cancel my plans for a night of games with family. As I sat alone, I wondered how many groups of people around the world usher in the new year with a celebration. One thought led to another. Why is the new year such a big deal? What are we seeking?
I went online and found an extensive list of different celebrations. In every country, people do something, not always the same day the new year lands on our calendar, but customs do exist. From there, I searched for traditions accompanying each, hunting for a common link. What I suspected proved true.
For the western world, New Year’s Eve means people stay up late to see the old year out and new year in. Church bells ring, horns toot, whistles blow, sirens shriek. Often the next step is to write out a list of resolutions to make the coming year better than the last.
For the Chinese Lunar New Year, along with the dragon and the rest of the celebration, the people clean their house to sweep away any ill-fortune and make room for good luck.
Koreans celebrate Seollal, a three-day holiday marking the beginning of the Lunar New Year. Their many traditions include using fire to ward off evil spirits for the days ahead.
Rosh Hashanah, part of the high holy days for the Jews, includes the common greeting “Shanah tovah,” which translated from Hebrew means “[have a] good year.”
The point being, all around the globe, no matter the date or religion, there is a celebration for each new year. Because of religious diversity, many countries commemorate more than one.
Isn’t it interesting that humankind uses this time to hope for a clean slate? We hold fast to our successes. There is no need to let those fade away. It is our failures we want to sweep behind us, and good fortune or better outcomes to proceed us. We want our lives to start fresh.
The thing is, there is only one guaranteed way to a better future.
Revelation 21:5: “And he who sat upon the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’”
When we Seek Him — Jesus, our new year will hold more potential than our feeble attempts through determinations to do better, a house swept clean, a fire to ward off evil spirits or a shouted greeting of good luck.
2 Corinthians 5:17: “Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it!” (MSG)
He is our promise. He holds our future.
By Lynn Moffett