Christian Living

Celebrate New Year’s Eve

Successfully Move from One Year to the Next

I never really understood the allure of staying up late on December 31 to welcome in the new year. As such, I saw no reason to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

As a teenager, however, I embraced the idea of staying up until midnight as confirmation I was growing up. It didn’t make much sense, however, as I struggled to be alert enough to enjoy it and dragged through the next day.

As a young adult, I’d stay up until midnight because I could, all the while wondering why I did. Then I’d shuffle off to bed in a stupor.

Now older and wiser, I go to bed on New Year’s Eve at my normal time, and I arise the next morning at my normal time. Call me a curmudgeon, if you will, but this makes the most sense to me.

Frankly, I see no reason to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Yet I should, perhaps not in the stay-up-late mindset of our secular practices, but from a spiritual perspective.

When we ring in the new year, it’s in anticipation of what is to come. The new year brings with it an excitement for a fresh beginning. Correspondingly, New Year’s Eve stands as a reminder of what was, of the preceding year.

Just as we say hello to what will be on New Year’s Day, we say goodbye to what was on New Year’s Eve.

This annual transition from past to future reminds me of what Paul wrote to the Corinthian church. He said to them—and to us—that as followers of Jesus we are a new creation. Who we were is gone. And the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

In this way, as we celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, we can—and we should—connect this with our status as a new creation through Jesus Christ.

In another letter, Paul writes that he forgets what is behind him and strains toward what is ahead. In doing so he presses toward heaven with Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).

As far as Jesus is concerned our past mistakes don’t matter. They’re forgotten. What does matter is what we do moving forward. Let us embrace what lies ahead and not dwell on what we cannot change.

With these things in mind, may we celebrate New Year’s Eve.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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