Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Year's Eve

Our "New Year's Eve Bash" has become somewhat of an annual tradition, and this year was the best one yet. We hold an open house, with people beginning to arrive around 7:00 pm. This year, lots of them brought food that, combined with our taco bar and table of "munchies", made quite a delicious spread. We played games, hung out, visited, had fun.

Our house was already full of guests: Eldest Son, home from college, his delightful girlfriend, my sister-in-law and her three children, my parents, my aunt and uncle, etc. Then came a delightful assortment of our friends. It was great!

At about 10:30, a bunch of us gathered in the living room area for a time of reflecting back over the past year, looking forward to the new one, and praying together.

This special time of sharing and prayer is something I look forward to all year, and it meant a lot to me to hear how much it blesses our guests as well.

About a quarter to midnight, we ended with a song. Then we grabbed our coats and headed outdoors to bring in the new year in our traditional way --- with trumpet blasts, noisemakers, rockets, and more. Then we headed back inside, turned on the music, and celebrated!

Someone mentioned to me that our gathering had a number of the elements of church. Even though we were an eclectic group, and many people hadn't met before then, others of us had known each other for years --- and people remarked about how we all just "felt like family". As we reflected back over the past year, there was much praise given to God. Scripture were quoted. People were encouraged. Even before then, there had been ministry going on, as people talked together. There was prayer. There was worship. There was fellowship. There was food. And there was joy!

We've been thinking, as a family, of opening up our home like this more often. Well, on somewhat of a smaller scale, but with many of the same wonderful elements...minus the noisemakers and rockets...

I'm eager to see what the Lord does this year.

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