The Scripture Readings for this week are:
- From the Jewish Scriptures: Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
- Psalm 8 (VU p.732)
- From the Letters of the Early Church: Revelation 21:1-6a
- From the Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46
The Hymns will be:
- 59 Joy to the World
- 74 What Child is This
- 87 I Am the Light of the World
- 96 Will You Come and See the Light
The Sermon title is Beginnings, Endings, Resolutions
Early Thoughts: Out with the old, in with the new. Once again it is time to bid farewell to another year. It is a time for looking back at what has happened over the last 12 months (as a glance at newspapers and news TV will point out) and reflecting on what we have learned and experienced.
What has 2006 brought us? What did we gain from the year? What do we leave behind? It is always good to reflect on where our path has taken us. But of course that is ony half of the New Year's celebration.
As we prepare to countdown to midnight we do so with hope and anticipation. We look forward to what awaits us in the next 12 months. What new challenges and celebrations will we find? What surprises are out there waiting for us?
A common part of New Year's celebrations has been the making of resolutions. Of course most of these resolutions may end up being honoured more in the making than in the doing. But there is something about a new beginning that incites people to make promises about how they will live, something that I think is tied in to that feeling of hope as a new year begins.
Our Scripture lessons for New Years remind us of many things. Ecclesiastes reminds us, in those words made famous by the Byrds, that to every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. Revelation reminds us that God is the Alpha and the Omega, beginning and end and that God is making all things new. And the Matthew pasage reminds us of our ethical duty to care for those around us.
As we look back on the year that was and forward to what may be may we pledge ourselves anew to live out God's call to be peolpe of faith. And may 2007 truly be a year of blessing for all of us.