It’s New Year’s Eve, 2013 – and if you haven’t been living under a rock, you know that each year since 1972, with the exception of 2004 when he suffered a stroke, Dick Clark hosted New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in Times Square until Ryan Seacrest took over after the death of the iconic Clark in 2012. Even after suffering a serious stroke, Dick Clark came back for several years to host one of the best known events in the entire world of entertainment – the ringing in of the New Year in New York, before suffering a life ending heart attack at the age of 82.
Certainly the highlight of the Times Square celebration each year is the famous ball drop during the last minute of the year. There are different patterns of lights and the crowd counts down the final 10 seconds of the old year – resulting in wild celebration for hundreds of thousands of people on the streets below. In fact, I probably don’t need to go into any additional detail. I doubt that there is anyone in the United States who doesn’t know what the ball drop is all about.
But aside from the parties and the celebrations and the entertainment and the ball drop, there is one other thing we should consider – and that is what our spiritual lives will look like in the New Year – how each of us intends to grow in what is called “progressive sanctification”. Or, in plain words, how are we going to become more Christlike? In fact, that is probably one of the most important things you can consider as we enter 2014. Some people undertake the challenge to read the Bible each year – cover to cover. Others commit to a daily devotional time or believe they will take a class or read a certain number of books to grow spiritually. And some of us just commit to grow closer to God without a specific plan in mind. Unfortunately, most of us fail to live up to the resolutions we make each January 1st – and that’s a shame, particularly when they have to do with our relationship to God – that’s when we drop the ball.
The verse for this evening, the last night of this year, is from Proverbs 16:3, “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” My encouragement tonight is that there are many things you can do to grow closer to the Lord in 2014. Whatever you choose, do it with commitment. My prayer is that you will be blessed beyond your wildest imagination in 2014 and that you will grow closer to the Lord than you have ever been – and remember, please don’t drop the ball… Have a great day in the Lord; and a wonderful New Year! Grace and peace…