WHY CELEBRATE A NEW YEAR?

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What we witnessed earlier this week was no different from what is seen at the beginning of every year- wild partying and celebration to usher in 2013.  Spectacular fireworks and mega-shows have become customary at the turn of the year. The fireworks display over the Sydney Harbor bridge is perhaps the most extravagant, and is supposedly seen even from outer space. People gather as early as mid-day to get a spot to watch the fireworks. Most likely also don’t realize that it is taxpayer money that sponsors the extravaganza. Thousands gather at other venues like the Times Square often in freezing weather, to celebrate the passing of another year and the coming in of a year.

But, why? Why should a new year be an opportunity to celebrate? The fact that you have got one less year to live is no reason for celebration. Chances are that, with increasing age, your health will be poorer and life would be more stressful. Even if you make a fortune (low probability), with it would come stress and responsibility. In fact your best years are already behind you- when you were a baby with nothing to worry about and others taking care of your needs; it just keeps getting worse after that.

The religiously inclined would inundate the new-year with prayers and rites, all in the hope that perhaps lady luck would smile on them in the new-year. Several Christians make it a point to ensure that the new-year dawns when they are within the precincts of a church among believers, magically hoping that it would somehow take away suffering and pain in the new-year. Well,—– does it?

The Bible does lay emphasis on compartmentalizing our time, especially to look afresh at each day and live it well. The 7-day compartmentalization into a week with a day being devoted to resting in God also features prominently in the Word. When a disciple fails to do these, it does not make much sense to give undue prominence to ushering in a new year. If the disciple wants to wish away pain, let him remember that discipleship is always accompanied by suffering. If a new beginning is what he hopes for and works on making resolutions, he should tread carefully, but more on that later.

But, if a new year eve is just another opportunity to party for one who is inclined to partying, go ahead on a new year’s eve, brave the cold weather, lose the sleep, spend the good part of the afternoon trying to catch a good spot and be prepared to have an awful Jan1st, just recovering. Otherwise, look at it as just another day to live and experience the goodness of God.

What is your perspective on New-year celebrations? Comments are welcome. Also note, if you wish not to miss any post, go to the connect page on the blog website and look at the options given therein.

 

4 thoughts on “WHY CELEBRATE A NEW YEAR?

  1. Deepak R

    If New year is causing people to come together and pray, what is wrong with that? Isn’t spending the new years eve praying better than spending the new year unconscious in some bar or pub? If discipleship is accompanied by suffering, are we not supposed to pray to get relief from suffering[even at other times] thinking that it’s part and parcel of discipleship? People might be praying on New years eve , because they might have a feeling that god will be with them when they usher in the new year, is that a bad thing? New year is a logical time to reflect on the past one year and to at least think about the changes a person would like to make to his or her life(even if many don’t stick to it). It’s just like an annual appraisal at work. Different people have different reasons for praying or celebrating a New year. Some people might be thanking god for the past one year. Some people might be celebrating the fact that they are one year closer to being with god, Some people might be celebrating just for the sake of partying, How do we know what a person’s reason for celebrating new year is? Going by the logic in this post, we should not be celebrating anything at all other than our own death ,and we should be spending our birthdays and new year mourning the loss of a year. 🙂

    1. pilgrim Post author

      Thanks Deepak, for your comment.

      Fair enough to say that different people have different reasons to celebrate a new year. The idea of the post is not to prescribe rather to promote thought on why anyone does what he does- is it because everyone else does it? Is it because of pressure from media? Is it something else? If anything we do diminishes the eternal perspective we have, we need to question it. On the contrary if it grants us a better perspective of life and death, it is beneficial.

      Gathering to pray was only one aspect of the post, not the entire post! And by the way, looking at birthdays as another year lost is a new perspective and a good one too— I should write on that one soon.

      Keep commenting!

  2. Jeevan Kuruvilla

    Bro Vinci, it’s not only New Year . . . almost all such ‘special dates’ have been turned into occasions for celebrations and revelry. Recently, a friend of mine who’s a teacher was lamenting that many of her students did not know why a particular festival was being celebrated. They only know that it is a time for celebrations. Even Christmas has become X’mas . . . Christmas without Christ. The media and the business community encourages that even little known festivals are made into big occasions so that there is maximum business. I hope you’ve heard of the festival called ‘Akshaya Trithiya’ which has been pushed to public domain by jewellery shops in Kerala. . . And this is how things have been all over the world. Be it Christmas, Diwali, Mother’s day . . . One can go on and on. Good blog and keep writing. Wish you a blessed time in 2013.

    1. pilgrim Post author

      Thanks Jeevan, your comment reminds of the exhortation, ‘Be not conformed to the world—–‘. Not easy, but necessary for a Christian.

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