Volume 2, No.1 | Tending Our Knitting

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.  _Joseph to his brothers (Genesis 50:20)

I still remember the last New Year I stayed awake to count in. 

Sonja and I were in St. Augustine, FL with our son and daughter-in-law for a little get-a-away.  We were playing some games in the lobby of the resort where we were staying and I got caught up in a silly television program that had people taking dare-devil challenges. 

The culminating  event was to be a stuntman who was attempting to break Evel Knievel’s record for the number of cars he could jump ramp-to-ramp on his motorcycle.  The plan was for him to start in the old year and jump into the new year.  Talk about clever marketing!  And I fell for it line, hook, and sinker. 

All through the evening they kept pumping this event with camera switchovers to talk to him and his nervous girlfriend, and others.  You’d thought they were attempting to land someone on Mars.  Eventually, as the hour approached I was glued to the television, watching him suit up, check his bike and then checked it again and then limber up and later limber up some more.  (You get the picture…good marketing with a low budget.)

Finally it was time for the big event.  It was 11:59 p.m. and counting…ten…nine…eight.. and finally he began to make his move.  Somewhere between 2008 and 2009 I realized that staying up to watch this silly stunt was one of the dumbest things I had ever done.  (I can’t even remember if he completed the jump!  Serves me right.)

That was the last time I’ve stayed up to watch an old year go out and a new year come in. I’ve learned that the New Year comes in fine whether I’m awake or not.

And then there’s 2020. 

I’m sure glad I didn’t come up with the bright idea of entitling my first sermon of the year “2020 Vision for 2020!”  (I had some friends who did.)  How could we know that the world would be shut down with death and calamity that year due to a worldwide pandemic.  Yikes!

I know, New Year is special.  Hope and optimism abounds. We are handed an opportunity to reboot, start over, and recalibrate.  Hey, I’m not against this at all.  But while celebrating the arrival of a New Year I also suggest we not make too much of it. (I’ve been to that rodeo a few times now.) It takes more than a year to determine if somethings are good or bad.  Like Joseph, it may take almost a lifetime. 

Grandma’s advice serves us well…let’s stick to our knitting.  With this New Year let’s do what, hopefully, we were doing in 2022 – loving people, being faithful to preach, publish, and proclaim the word of God in word and deed, paying our bills, mowing our lawns, hugging our children, and trusting our God. 

For the most part, let’s leave the stunts and fanfare to the daredevils and debutantes and take Paul’s advice to the churches in Galatia, And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season (this year or maybe another year) we shall reap if we do not lose heart.  (Galatians 6:9)

Oh, and let’s plan on going to bed at a decent hour.  Tomorrow can get here fine without us being awake to cheer it on.   

Happy New Year – one and all!

David L. Kemp

Photo by David Vilches on Unsplash