Happy New Year! We say it to each other on the first few days of a new year every year, but what do we really mean by it?
Think about it … the meaning of most holidays is clear:
- Valentine’s Day celebrates romance
- July Fourth celebrates our independence
- Thanksgiving is all about gratitude
- Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our savior, Jesus
But what about New Year’s Day … the world’s most celebrated holiday is not so clear. On this day, many people remember last year’s achievements and failures and look forward to the promise of a new year — a new beginning. One of the most popular customs and the key to the meaning of New Year’s is making resolutions.
On average, each North American makes two New Year’s resolutions. How many did you make? What do your resolutions reflect about your desires for this year?
Resolutions are made all over the world, from New York to Paris to Sydney. It is interesting that there are two very common resolutions across the board:
- Physical improvements — wanting to be more attractive/healthy by losing weight, exercising more and smoking less
- Doing things better — eat better, be a better spouse, parent, friend
But what is the purpose of setting these kinds of goals and making resolutions? Why bother? Why do we make New Year’s resolutions even after failing at last year’s resolutions? First, it’s about stressing the first word of the phrase we share with each other — people want to be happy. Second, every resolution we make implies a desire to be the driver of our own future, and not allow ourselves to be victims of circumstance or luck in the New Year.
On Sunday I will begin a new sermon series: Happy? This series will look at what it means to be happy and how we can achieve happiness. How do the wisdom of scripture and the Bible help us set our priorities for 2018, and how can our priorities lead us into a Happy New Year?
I look forward to seeing you in worship on Sunday!