Forget the things that happened in the past.
Do not keep on thinking about them.
I am about to do something new.
It is beginning to happen even now.
Don’t you see it coming?
Isaiah 43:18-19a (New International Reader’s Version)
Tonight, I was at a New Year’s Eve Watchnight service. Early in the service, the saints were sharing their testimonies of God’s goodness over the past year. The Watchnight service is a staple of the Black Church which was started by Black slaves who awaited New Years Day 1863, which was the day the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect-freeing slaves in Confederate States.
However, as we ready ourselves for 2016, tonight’s text caught my eye. God was speaking to Israel during a dark time through the prophet Isaiah. Israel was under Babylonian domination during this time. However, despite what was happening, God told Israel to forget the things of the past. That God was ready to break out something new; and that for Israel to look out for it.
The text can apply to today as well. There are many of us-me included-who had a lot happen in 2015; some good, some not so good. Believe me that many of us are glad to see 2015 and all its baggage disappear into the past…
However, we need to forget the things of the past-including 2015. Despite how bad-or how good-things were, it’s time to forget and move on into 2016. I believe that God can do new things before our very eyes if only we open ourselves up to Him/Her. This is in fact a New Year full of potential and promise; and God is waiting to do His/Her “new thing” right before our eyes.
Happy NEW Year! I don’t know if you ushered it in at church like me, at a formal ball, in Times Square, at a get-together, or alone. Just know that it’s time to forget the old things and see what new things God will do in 2016.