After weeks, if not months, of preparation, Christmas is now behind us. The festive food’s all eaten, the tree’s wilting in the corner of the living room, bereft of presents or a spark of life, the red candles are burned low and the carols are all sung. The seemingly timeless break between then and now is over, and we’ve reached the end of another year.
The New Year holds hope for a brighter and better time ahead, whilst allowing us to shut the door on the year now behind us. For many of us, today will be a day of celebrating what could be ahead in 2017. Yet how many of us will take some time to stop and remember what’s happened in 2016?
There’s such power in remembering, and marking the important occasions in our hearts, so much so that Jesus made sure that His disciples would remember their last meal together and the significance of it. It wasn’t a joyful thing He was asking them to remember, far from it! Yet, to this day, Christians around the globe celebrate this remembrance of Jesus in the same way that He set the example for them, two thousand years ago. That’s two thousand years of people doing the exact same thing, and all for one reason … to remember.
So, with 2016 on its way out, let’s take some time to remember. Remember the good times and blessings of 2016, and pray that we’ll have many more in 2017. Remember the times God broke through and did a miracle, however small or big, and let that build our faith. And remember the hard times, and take courage in the fact that, by the grace of God, you came through them.
We can’t live our lives only looking back at what has been but, equally, we can’t live our lives shutting the door firmly on the past, and only looking to the future. The future’s unknown, uncertain. We can’t learn from the future, but we can learn from and rely on the faith we can draw from the past, and how God provided for us, healed us, helped us and loved us … despite all.
However you celebrate the New Year, may you remember the goodness, kindness and mercy of God, and may 2017 bring you closer to Him.
Prayer: Father God, help me to remember the past year with gratitude for all You’ve done. May my faith be built up for what’s to come in the year ahead. May 2017 be a year to remember too! Amen.
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