“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebr 10: 23-25)
Why “celebrate” the New Year? This doesn’t immediately make sense. Doesn’t our movement through time, from one year to the next, one day to the next, and so on, “happen” anyway, regardless of how we feel about it? Yes. But is “life,” as John Lennon says, “what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans”? No. Not if you are a “practicing” Christian, anyway. And by “practicing” I mean “celebrating.” Because we “celebrate” temporal transitions.
What does that mean? “Celebrating” a temporal transition, like the transition to a New Year, means we do this together. To “celebrate” (from the Latin “celebrare”) means “to gather to honor.” As Christians, we try to make our conscious “gatherings” as frequent as possible, “honoring” our movement through time, weekly from Sunday to Sunday, or even daily from evening to night, night to morning and so on, in the daily services. Together, as frequently as possible. Our movement through time has common meaning, because it has common purpose, - “the Day approaching,” mentioned in Hebrews 6. We approach, together, with purpose, the ultimate fulfilment in God, in communion with His Son, powered daily by the grace of the Holy Spirit, which is poured out abundantly on us, in communion and community, on a daily basis.
So “let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds… encouraging one another” in friendliness, courteousness, attentiveness to others, and avoidance of the stuff opposite of all that: neediness, too much talking about self, or hogging the potato chips.☺ Onwards and forwards, everyone, "holding unswervingly to the hope we profess," and Happy upcoming New Year!