how to spend this last day of the year (before you get drunk)

There is this pressure today, isn't there, to spend it thinking about all of the ways we are going to make this new year better than the last. How comforting it was for me to read in my Magnificat this morning, "Let us spend this last day of the year in profound thanksgiving and praise for the extraordinary gift of our salvation in Jesus Christ." It is the reminder I needed today; to remember that ringing in the new year is not only about making promises to eat better in 2017, or to sit in a sad drunken pool of regret thinking about all of the crappy things that happened in 2016. No. It is so much more. It is about reflecting on all of it, the past and the present and the future, knowing that no matter what cards we have been dealt and no matter what lies ahead, we still have reason to rejoice. Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth, has been born to save us from all of it. Every single bit of it. The joyful and the painful the shameful and the beautiful the awful and the awesome. He is here among us, He is where ever you are. So go ahead and make those plans to better yourself, and choose your word of the year to live by, and go ahead and ponder all of your regrets in 2016 and how you will choose to move away from them stronger and braver, but do not forget to take a moment today to say thank you; for the light that He shines in your darkness, for the every moment that offers you new beginning, for the grace in place of grace, that we have all received, not because we deserve it, but simply, because we are loved.

Prayers for you on this last day of the year; that you rise and shine, and give God the glory, never forgetting for a single moment that no matter what your life looks like right now, you have been given the extraordinary gift of salvation in Jesus Christ.