Auld Lang Syne

Just a few hours ago, in many parts of the English-speaking world, at the stroke of midnight, a traditional Scottish folk song was sung by the multitudes. This song, first written as a poem was entitled Long, long Ago or Old times, but now loosely translated means, “for (the sake of) old times”. Most of us know it as Auld Lang Syne. It was set to music by Robert Burns in 1788, but the origins cannot fully be traced because Auld Lang Syne was a popular phrase in Scotland appearing as early as the 1500’s.

Auld Lang Syne didn’t become popular in America until the 1930’s and 40’s when Guy Lombardo, Canadian band leader adopted it for his radio and television broadcasts . I always associate the song as the embodied sub-theme of the 1947 box office disappointment; It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmie Stewart. The song and it’s movie counterpart, now considered one of the most inspirational American films of all time, begs the question, “should long-standing friendships be forgotten?” We don’t have to look very far when searching the bible for an answer. In the Shema, our declaration of faith, God instructs us explicitly to remember our friendship and love for him.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6: 4-9).

Christ also, in the New Testament, gave us an instruction of remembrance in the ordinance of Communion or Eucharist.

“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19).

Now that 2012 is here, a new year, let’s make this year a year of remembrance. It is good to remember all the Ebenezer’s that God has given; Gods provision, Gods watch care, God’s comfort while we suffer, Gods peace in the midst of chaos, God’s love and faithfulness… .

I have no idea, what your life has been like this last year… I do not know if you have suffered and are in pain… lost a job or a home or maybe you are grieving the loss of someone very much loved…

I want to give you a gift for the New Year. As I leave you today, on this truly wonderful January 1st, 2012… I offer you hope that comes from a loving, faithful God and a New Years wish… not my words, but the words written by Laura Story in her song, Blessings.

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It’s not our home

‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
And what if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
And what if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise


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