As I am looking back over the landscape of 2020 I see so many signs of fear, uncertainty, ruined plans, tensions, violence, and all kinds of emotional and physical debrie. It’s draining. But I also see a lot of good things – people caring about people more, questions of faith and God, people reexamining their lives and priorities, families actually talking and playing games. It is tradition on New Year’s Eve to peal out bells at midnight. It symbolizes ringing out the old and ringing in the new.

Recently, someone jokingly said that the most worthless book of 2020 was the 2020 calendar. Mine is pretty well blank. While there are a lot fewer entries than previous years, I did have a lot of fun, challenging and defining moments.

I was looking at some scriptures for 2021, and found Micah 7:7 very meanngful. It reads, “But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.”

In God’s great love for us, God gives us freedom and choices. With God’s help, I want to look forward. I am going to watch in hope for to God to be present and working all around me each day. I will learn patience by waiting on God, and in waiting trust God as deeply as I can. I can do all of this, because, I affirm like Micah, God will hear me.

This is a hope and promise that God has offered you and me in Christ. I pray you move into 2021 with the hope and watchfulness of Micah, and the confidenct that God will hear you.

In pondering this, I ran across this poem written by Alfred Lord Tennyson. It is as poignant today, as when he wrote it in 1850.

“Ring Out Wild Bells”

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.


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