Don't get me wrong, I am full of big plans myself. 2009 is an adventure waiting to happen, and I am eager for her to arrive. However, 2008 deserves a moment of respect. A proper goodbye, I suppose.
My closing devotion for the year in "Streams in the Desert" talks about the shepherds of the alpine mountains and a beautiful tradition they have of singing to one another - "The air is so crystalline that the song will carry long distances. As the dusk begins to fall, they gather their flocks and begin to lead them down the mountain paths, singing, 'Hitherto hath the Lord helped us, Let us praise His name!' And at last with the sweet courtesy, they sing to one another the friendly farewell: 'Goodnight! Goodnight!' The words are taken up by the echoes, and from side to side the song goes reverberating sweetly and softly until the music dies away in the distance.
So let us call out to one another through the darkness, till the gloom becomes vocal with many voices, encouraging the pilgrim host. Let the echoes gather till a very storm of Hallelujahs break in thundering waves around the sapphire throne, ant then as the morning breaks we shall find ourselves at the margin of the sea of glass, crying, with the redeemed host, 'Blessing and honor and glory be unto him that sitteth on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever!'"
I especially loved that last little bit. We should be like the shepherds, and call out to one another, even in the darkness (but also in the light!). Encouragement, reminders of how great our God is, simple praise for our Savior - Out Loud - so that those around us can hear, and join in with us "And again they said, Hallelujah!" Rev. 19:3
I will do my best to be loud for you my friends. Please, when you hear my weak attempts, join with me, and make my voice stronger. Together, we are strong. Together, we are something to be feared. Let's remember that as we say goodbye to 2008 and welcome in another new year.