New Hope

Curmudgeon! guess that is what I’ve always been when it comes to New Year’s Eve and Day. How is one day different from the last? New Year’s Day is a national holiday celebrated on January 1st, on both the Gregorian and the Julian calendar. It is a date which follows a night of bacchanal for many. A “new year” represents a time to get rid of the old and make things new. Resolutions are made (and generally forgotten in 30 days).

The pandemic year has made me rethink my “curmudgeon-ness.” I wanted to put the pandemic in perspective and so did a little research. The numbers I was reading everyday needed to become accessible. For example, using numbers as of Dec. 28, the number of Illinois deaths would completely wipe out the population of all of Warrenville with Barrington Hills added to it. The total number of U.S. deaths would equal the populations of both Naperville and Aurora. Poof! Imagine all of the people gone!

What is different about this new year? The pandemic did not end on January 1!   Probably, our New Year’s Eve celebrations were less bacchanal and more thoughtful. Many New Year’s Day traditions did not happen and we found other amusements elsewhere (inside, or safely distanced). So maybe this year, we transitioned our new found caring, family togetherness, and love from one year to the next. We know, too, that a vaccine is coming “soon” to a pharmacy, doctor, or hospital near us and this gives us hope.

BUT for us, as Christian’s, we need to look at this new year in a different way. We read in Romans 12:1 “I appeal to you therefore, brothers [and sisters], by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” The Apostle Paul means you don’t have to die for your faith, but give of ourselves. We sacrifice our time, talents and treasures for the good of others. We are new creations, renewed by God’s Spirit. This means according to 2 Cor 5:17 “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

My wish for you in 2021, quoting the great philosopher Snoopy, “Laugh a little louder; smile a little bigger; love a little deeper; and walk through life a little slower.”

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