New Year- New Hope!
On Dec. 31st at 11:59 pm EST, over one billion people around the world watched as the “ball” dropped in New York City’s Times Square.
The 1st "time-ball" was installed on top of England’s Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1833. After the success of that event, approximately 150 such time-balls were installed around the world. But few survive and still work.
The tradition is carried on today in places like the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, where a time-ball descends from a flagpole at noon each day - and of course, once a year in Times Square, where it marks the stroke of midnight.
New York City actually held a New Years celebration as early as 1904, but it wasn’t until 1907 that they “dropped” an iron and wood ball and adorned with a hundred 25-watt light bulbs. It was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds.
From that date until today, the ball has dropped every year except 1942 and 1943 during the City’s WWII “dim-outs”. Crowds still gathered in Times Square during those years and greeted the New Year with a moment of silence followed by chimes ringing out from One Times Square.
Over the years, the “time-ball” has undergone about 4 re-designs – the most recent one was created for the millennial celebration in the year 2000 by Waterford Crystal. It’s a geodesic sphere, six feet in diameter, and weighing approximately 1,070 pounds. It’s covered with a total of 504 crystal triangles that vary in size.
Each of those triangles has a special designation: Hope for Fellowship, Hope for Peace, Hope for Wisdom, Hope for Unity, Hope for Courage, Hope for Healing, etc.
The Name of the ball is The Star of Hope’…because Each New Year IS a time for hope! It’s a time for opportunity, and a time for us to lay hold of our destiny.
What a great time to `forget what is behind, and strain toward what is ahead, and press toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us Heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil 3:13,14 NIV
What a great time to learn from the past, reflect on the past, and let it go! It’s time to dream great dreams, set new goals and pursue the life God has called us to live!
1. Let Go of the Past-
A. Leave your resentment- Eph 4:29-32 NLT “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
B. Leave your worries-Phil. 4:6-8 NLT “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. “
C. Leave your failures behind- Let the past be just that---the past. No amount of worry can change what has already slipped into the pages of history. However, we can look forward, learn from the past and determine to not repeat our mistakes.
1 Corinthians 13:5-6 NIV “Love keeps no record of wrong done to it…”
Isaiah 43:19 NLT “For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”
2. Lay Hold of the Future-
Let’s run into the New Year with our eyes wide open to God’s blessings; with our hearts attentive to His voice.
He deserves our very best! What you give God at the first of the year will help set the tone for the rest of the year!
Eph. 5:15-17 NIV “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.”
A. Our time on earth is limited-
Psalm 90:12 “Teach us how short our lives really are
so that we may be wise.”
Eccl. 3:1-3 “There is a time for everything,
and everything on earth has its special season.
2 There is a time to be born
and a time to die.
There is a time to plant
and a time to pull up plants.
3 There is a time to kill
and a time to heal.
There is a time to destroy
and a time to build.”
3. Know what God’s Will is-
Isaiah 46:10 NIV “I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”
Since God’s will and purpose SHALL be established in the earth, we must align ourselves with that will. “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done’!
Jesus said, “I only do what I see my father do.” Our hearts and desire should be to do what we see the Father doing in the life and ministry of Jesus.
In the filming of the 1959 Biblical epic’s called “Ben Hur,” one of the most famous scenes in that movie was the climatic chariot race. It required 5 weeks of filming, 15,000 extras, and 18 chariots – nine to be used by the stunt crew during practice.
In the spirit of authenticity, Charlton Heston actually learned to drive the 4 horse vehicles. But after weeks of practice, he expressed concern about the final shoot. He took the stunt coordinator aside and “I can drive the chariot,” he told stunt coordinator Yakima Canutt, who was directing the scene, “but I’m not sure I can win.” “Chuck, you just make sure you stay in the chariot,” Canutt replied, “and I’ll make sure you win the race.”
Likewise, God is saying to us: “Just stay in the chariot… and I’ll make sure you win the race.”