Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye, 2010....

Altar at Victoria Chapel, Alpine Anglican Church of the Blessed Trinity

As the old year fades and the new one enters, the kids and I gathered this morning at Victoria Chapel for Holy Communion. Reading God's Word aloud, praying together for the needs of the world as well as those of people dear to us, hearing His Word preached, remembering Christ's sacrifice through His Presence in Holy Communion--all are excellent ways to bid 2010 farewell and welcome 2011.

I admit to being a bit glad to see 2010 leave. It's been a difficult year, filled with change: Elizabeth's graduation from high school and her moving onto the PLNU campus, Keith's work situation, my health, the boys' conflicts. But it's also been a year in which I have never seen God's work in our lives so clearly. His Hand has been profoundly open, and we thank Him for this year, for the growth in our faith and maturity, for His good blessings, for His perfect timing, and for His people who love and bless us so generously.

After Holy Communion today and while Jonathan had his guitar lesson with Father Acker, I finished another journal, just in time to begin a new one on the first day of the new year. This journal took two years (exactly) to fill as I write about once a week or so. But it's a lovely thing to complete the final page in a journal; it certainly brings a beautiful feeling of accomplishment and closure.

Today from I received this poem which seems to close 2010 well:

A Song for New Year's Eve
by William Cullen Bryant

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay—
Stay till the good old year,
So long companion of our way,
Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One little hour, and then away.

The year, whose hopes were high and strong,
Has now no hopes to wake;
Yet one hour more of jest and song
For his familiar sake.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One mirthful hour, and then away.

The kindly year, his liberal hands
Have lavished all his store.
And shall we turn from where he stands,
Because he gives no more?
Oh stay, oh stay,
One grateful hour, and then away.

Days brightly came and calmly went,
While yet he was our guest;
How cheerfully the week was spent!
How sweet the seventh day's rest!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One golden hour, and then away.

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep
Beneath the coffin-lid:
What pleasant memories we keep
Of all they said and did!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One tender hour, and then away.

Even while we sing, he smiles his last,
And leaves our sphere behind.
The good old year is with the past;
Oh be the new as kind!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One parting strain, and then away.
So as we wave a fond (or perhaps a not-so-fond) auf wiedersehen to this year, I pray a healthy, blessed, rich, and joyful 2011 for each of you. May God be at the center of this New Year, teaching us how to number our days for His honor and glory, from the first of January through the 31st of next December, by the power of Him who died and rose again, Jesus Christ our Saviour and Lord. Amen.

Happy New Year!!!
(And, auf deutsch (in German): Prosit Neujahr!)

With warmest wishes for a blessed 2011 to you and yours,

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