No, my wife and I are not ringing in the New Year’s attuned to any of the major networks’ coverage of celebrations in Time’s Square, Five Points, or the French Quarter. Rather, we are watching Family Entertainment Television, stylized as FETV, and marketed as "FETV: Real. Family. Entertainment".
Kudos to the programming team there who came up with their creative way of finishing the old year and ushering in the new one. Titled "Never Say Goodbye", it is quite innovative, involving a two-step process. To begin with, they are broadcasting the finales, or final episodes, of several television series on December 31st.
Among these are such classics as "Adam-12", "Barney Miller", "Daniel Boone", "Emergency", "Hazel", "Leave It to Beaver", "Perry Mason", "Quincy", "The Lone Ranger", and "Wagon Train". Tomorrow morning, January 1st, FETV then plans to broadcast the premieres, or initial episodes, of each of these very same classic television series.
Wow! What better way is there in the modern world to symbolize both New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day? What better way to demonstrate the age-old principle of “out with the old and in with the new”?
After all, on New Year’s Eve, do we not pause to look back at the past and all its accomplishments? And then on New Year’s Day, do we not change our focus and look forward to the future and all it entails?
For my part, many a time in my life have I had to say good-bye to the old and hello to the new. And in many of these cases, I have welcomed the opportunity to do so!
But even on those occasions when I did not necessarily embrace such an opportunity, the change has still come. Thus, if together, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day symbolize anything, it is this: the old always gives way to the new. Whatever has heretofore been the primary focus inevitably gives way to whatever is next, and destined to succeed it.
That is to say - the new always supplants the old, the yesterday always gives way to the tomorrow, and the finale always succumbs to the premiere!
Given this, as the year 2023 gives way to the year 2024, it behooves each of us to reflect on both the outgoing year and the incoming one. As we do, we rightly ask ourselves what we can celebrate in the old. But also what can we anticipate in the new.
After all, each of these is worth considering. For in truth, it is only in pondering the way in which this past year ended that we can fully appreciate the way in which the new year will unfold.
In my own case, many a previous year has helped to inform, define, and eventually direct an unfolding year. The outgoing one prepared me for the incoming one. The "Old Year’s", if indeed any such designation exists, has invariably helped to prepare me for the "New Year’s".
The Bible affirms just such an approach. The same Book that admonishes us to remember our past also invites us to anticipate our future. The same God Who tells us to "remember the days of old" and to "consider the years now past" (Deuteronomy 32:7) also tells us (in Isaiah 43:19) that He is "doing a new thing" in our lives, that He is "making a way" for us.
As I reflect on the past, I am reminded just how much God has protected me and provided for me. At every step along the way, He has been faithful in His love and grace. And this gives me full confidence that He will do for me in all my tomorrows what He has already done for me in all my yesterdays.
What about you, my friend? Can your yesterday help to inform your tomorrow? Can your past help you to deal with your tomorrow? Given that the very same God Who has cared for me has surely done the same for you, my strong suspicion is that it can.