If you were to look at the various New Years traditions from around the world, you will start to notice a common theme. In Madagascar, water is poured on people’s heads in order to wash away their sins. In China, people decorate their doors with “lucky phrases” hoping to bring good fortune and prosperity. Moreover, in Ecuador families build scarecrows with list of everyone’s faults attached. At midnight, the lists are read and fire is set to the scarecrows, as everything goes up in flames so do the participant’s faults.
In these three examples, it is clear that on New Years most people want a fresh start and have a desire to be better. As Christians, we know that these things are actually possible. Unlike the various cultural beliefs of the people in Madagascar, China and Ecuador, we know that only the blood of Jesus can wash away our sins. We understand that it is by having the Word of God written on our hearts and walking in the Torah that we attain good fortune and prosperity. Lastly, we realize that it is His consuming presence and Holy fire that eventually burns up those faults that keep us from looking like Him.
The Christian life is a daily walk of renewing our minds, living holy and making a conscious decision to “choose life” in everything that we do. As the days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, we begin to see that over the course of time we are no longer the people that we once were. Somehow during the year, we’ve become more and more like Christ.
Although the world views the end of the year simply as a reason to party, millions of Christians use New Year’s Eve as a time of reflection. It’s an opportunity to look back on one’s life and repent, it’s a time to thank God for His goodness and mercies and then to celebrate what is to come.
The New Year’s Eve celebration at New Life is one of the most anticipated events of the season. A few short weeks after the Christmas Banquet, members find that they have one more reason to don their best apparel. The New Year’s Eve event is a formal affair done with style and excellence. The sanctuary is transformed and the evening is filled with worship, scripture and prayer. Not only do we take time to exalt and lift up our Lord; we also celebrate and lift up one another. In the past, this event has proven to be an ideal time to showcase some of our own “in-house” talent, as well as perform a few betrothals and even announce a future project or two. If that is not enough, we’ve even been known to invite a few special guests.
Often times, the congregation has no idea what is going to happen and the night is filled with surprises that help to create an air of excitement. Throughout the evening, Pastor and the choir keep us enjoying ourselves and looking forward to more. The spirit of expectancy permeates the sanctuary in such a way that it is almost tangible. Of course, with all the new faces to be seen and the release of exciting news we can never forget the traditional things that take place on this special night. Every year we have a count down into the New Year and release hundreds of balloons at midnight. The remainder of the service is filled with singing, dancing and well wishes for the New Year.
For those who have never been we invite you to our New Years Eve celebration at New Life, you will be in for a treat. The event usually begins at nine thirty o’clock, it is free and open to the public and offers a safe, loving environment in which to bring in the New Year. What better way to start your New Year than by spending it praising the God that has the ability to give you that clean slate and make you a better person?
How do you experience New Year’s Eve? Do you spend time with family or friends? If you have experienced a New Year’s Eve Celebration at New Life we would also love to hear about your experience. Share your story below.