My family has always accused me of having a ‘Hogmanay Hormone’ meaning that I need to be celebrating on New Year’s Eve in some way or another, probably because I have such good memories of that time as a child in Scotland. But before I go all nostalgic like Billy Connolly’s singing shortbread tin, it is only when we grow up we
realise that New Year’s Eve is almost always tinged with some sadness, perhaps for those departed, or fear at what lies ahead.
These mixed emotions are the reason people deal with New Year in different ways - some ignore it, some celebrate it, some hide from it, some just wish it was over because we are uncomfortable with the mixed emotions it uncovers.
I think New Year is a bit like wakening up in the morning. The day stretches ahead and often before we get out of bed thoughts of what we have to do, what we have not done, what we are worried about come clamouring in. It can be daunting.
A few months ago I came across a reading by Dietrich Bonhoeffer that reminded me that as Christians we believe God created all our days, that he is over them all, that our days in the coming year are in his hands and we need to try and let them rest there.
If I do look back at the year gone by there are some events I could never have predicted, joyful and sad and yet all the worry in the world would not have changed them so perhaps that is the lesson for this year.
To take each day as it comes, to live in the moment, to remember we don’t rely on our own strength but we have one who loves us and who will not let the waters overwhelm us.
That is surely a good thought to take with us on New Year’s Eve whatever we choose to do.
Isaiah 43 vs 2-5