So, is everyone ready? For what, you ask? Well, Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner. I think I just heard some of you moan; and I know I heard some of you gasp with excitement. In case you are wondering, I’m leaning towards the excited side of the spectrum because I get to spend these special seasons celebrating and worshiping with all of you. I am aware of some of the traditions you observe during this time and I am looking forward to participating in those traditions too.
I’m also thinking about how it is during this time of year when memories from our personal lives get stirred-up within us…some good…some not so good. For me, I am sure that along with the good family times at Thanksgiving and Christmas, I will also think of my dad, whose health two years ago began declining between the holidays, leading to his death in March.
The same is true about the memories we have with our church family. As you think back on last year, you may remember both times of great joy and moments of deep pain. We don’t have any problems with the good stuff; but the not-so-good stuff left unattended to may haunt us and then rob us of our ability to fellowship through the seasons with each other and with God.
But that was then, and this is now. It definitely is not God’s plan for us to stay stuck in the mire and muck of the low and trying moments of our lives. If we say stuck it’s because we have chosen it; knowingly or subconsciously. I don’t believe that’s what we want. So, we are going to join the Psalmist in: Singing “to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, praise his name; proclaim his salvation day after day.” (Psalm 96:1,2) And entering “his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” (Psalm 100:4)
Singing a new song, giving thanks and praising the Lord refocuses us for the future and acknowledges our desire to move into a new day with God as our guide. We will thank God for his faithfulness to us when we journeyed the rough road. We will thank God for our treasured good memories. And together, we will praise God for the new day…the new journey ahead of us…and knowing most assuredly that God will remain faithful to us. The old has passed away and the new has come. Praise be to God.