Off with the Old – And Singing in the New.

Singing in the New Year

Singing in the New Year!

Well, we’re at the end of the year, 2020.

The other day, I came across a local group singing a song that expressed how many of us is feeling. It’s actually an advert for a local product so I can’t play it here – and it also contains some bad language which I’ve edited out. 

They sing it to the tune of ‘We wish you a merry Christmas’ but use the words,

‘We wish this year never happened!” And it ends with …
We’ve got a tiny bit of hope left, ‘cos December is here!’

Another song the same group is singing is to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.

‘May 2020 be forgot and never brought to mind.
May 2020 be forgot, we’ve had a lousy time.’

What song are you singing?

Do either of these sum up how you feel?

My innovative and creative daughter-in-law crocheted an ornament for their Christmas tree – of a Corona Virus! 

Her attitude is “may we never forget this time!” And she’s probably right. But I admit my reaction was, “alt-ctrl-delete!”

My same daughter-in-law sent me the mask shown at the top of the page. I love it. It reminds me of the need to keep singing!

To be honest, there have been many good things this year. For some, it’s been much worse than others. Many have lost loved ones, some more than one. Others have lost jobs, been subjected to terrible trauma and many have wondered how they would keep going. Yet there have been many recoveries. many good books published online, and many churches are reporting an upsurge in attendance at their online services! More people are hearing the gospel today than ever before.  

We haven’t attended a church building for over 9 months, but we have attended more services than we normally do!

Last week’s post:

The message I wrote last week has caught a lot of attention, and I think it’s worth posting again here, because it is so true. You can read the full post here – but the words in a nutshell are:

 

 

That was for Christmas.

How about the New Year?

Here in South Africa, we were thrown back into Level 3 lockdown two days ago with immediate effect. It’s our own fault. At least, it’s the fault of a lot of uncaring, selfish people. And the result is going to be devastating on the whole nation. 

Perhaps we feel like singing these words to the tune of Auld Lang Syne:

We say goodbye to 2020,
Few will shed a tear!
For all we’ve lived through,
Seen, and heard, 
It’s been an awful year.

South Africans are again under a strict curfew – and everyone must be in their homes by 9 pm except essential workers. No visitors or parties. No celebrations.

Our president suggested we ‘celebrated’ by lighting a candle at midnight in memory of those we lost through the year 2020.

Wearing masks no longer an obligation, but mandatory. No mask? You face either jail or a hefty fine.  

COVID-19 is all around us. We have to learn to live with it.

We’re in the midst of a terrible storm, but I’d like to end with an excerpt from one of my books in the recent boxed set some South African authors brought out at the end of October. Read, and take heart!

A Storm at Sea

It is based on the story of the horrific storm that broke out on the Sea of Galilee while Jesus lay sleeping in the stern. Eventually, the experienced and weary sailors from among the disciples went to wake their master.

When they managed to rouse Him from His deep slumber, His first reaction seems to have been annoyance. “Why are you so afraid?” He demanded. Rubbing the sleep from His eyes, He stood up, rebuked the winds and waves (for disturbing His rest?) and the storm immediately died down.

‘Wow! I’m not surprised the disciples were amazed. I would have been too. But the question that bothers me is why Jesus was annoyed when they woke Him.

‘I doubt He was upset they asked for help. They were in deep trouble. He would have expected them to call. So why His reaction? Take a closer look at their words. “We’re going to drown!”

‘They had Jesus on board! He wanted to go to the other side of the lake! Why would they drown?

‘Do we sometimes look around at the fearsome floods, the earthquake shaking our land, the novel coronavirus sweeping the world, and rush to the Lord? That’s great. That’s what we’re supposed to do. But are we saying, “Help! We’re all going to die!”? Are we forgetting who is in the boat with us?

‘Are we praying, “Lord, don’t You care that this microscopic virus is threatening the entire human race? Don’t you see that our kids are being sent back to school when it’s not safe? Are you aware we might run out of toilet paper? Don’t you care?”

‘I don’t believe Jesus is asleep right now. But when He one day steps forward to stamp on this beastly virus, or whatever storm is threatening you right now, is He going to ask you where you put your faith? In the government? In the health leaders? In the television news? In your friends?

‘Or in Him?’

Singing into 2021

So friends, as we step into the new year of 2021, there’s no question that the storm is going to suddenly end when we light a candle (well, unless the Lord decides to end it!). But let us remember Who is in the boat with us as we set out into new unexplored territory. And let us put all our trust in Him.

Yes, let’s wear those horrible masks. No one said they would be comfortable—but I’m confident they’re better than a ventilator!

Let’s stay home as much as humanly possible—and be grateful that we have homes to be in!

Let’s wash our hands—and give thanks for hand cream! (I have Vitamin E oil in my hand-sanitizer bottles that I carry with me. It makes a difference!)

Let’s STAY SAFE—and keep praising the God of creation, the Lord Who is in the boat with us. 

And let’s keep singing!

Start with this verse of that beloved old hymn, Amazing Grace:

Through many dangers, toils and snares
We have already come
T’was Grace that brought us safe thus far
And Grace will lead us home

And dare I say it?

May we keep looking forward to a Happy New Year!

Join in singing with me?

I wish you a happy New Year
No matter the storm around you
The Lord isn’t going anywhere
So be of good cheer!

God bless you all!

How about sharing your favourite song with us?

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