Stan's Studio and Lab

New Year's 2013 celebration of the Messiah Join the campaign. It's simple, fitting, fun, and free except that you are giving your whole year away to the Messiah.

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The experimental question:

Can we capitalize on the disciple-making potential of New Years Eve and New Years Day simply by adding a new song of Messianic hope to our New Years celebration? 


The experimental activity:

Circulate new words to the old New Years Eve tune, "Auld Lang Syne." The new title is "Let This be the Year." The lyrics are designed to be suitable for a family, small group, or congregation to sing as a new tradition done every year.  


How you can get involved:

1. Read or sing the lyrics. See if you can easily put your heart into them. If so, choose one or more options below.


2. Decide now to suggest to your family/friends that you sing the song together at midnight on New Years Eve. Lead up to it or follow it in any way you choose. Post your feedback on this site, noting what worked, what didn't, and whether you expect this to become an annual tradition for you.


3. Propose to your pastor or worship leader that your congregation sing the song together on the first Sunday of 2013. It is January 6th this year, which happens to be Epiphany Sunday. If they turn you down, report any noteworthy reasons here. If they go ahead, give your reflections on the value of the song for the worship that day.


4. Pass the song on to friends in person, in writing, or on-line. Invite them to "join the campaign." For example, you could set it up as a "Cause" on Facebook and invite people to join it. Nobody has proprietary rights to it.


How the experiment relates to making disciples:  

1. Superficial Christians. We have so many "Christians" who are not disciples because they have never connected their great hopes in life to Jesus the Messiah. They do see him as their hope for the next life, but right now they are preoccupied with many other hopes about things to achieve, acquire, and enjoy. They are pouring their lives into getting or protecting these things instead of into Jesus and his mission. The song calls them to turn away from their false hopes and reorient their whole lives to Jesus and his return. How different would our discipleship be if we were praying for the Messiah's return to happen in the next twelve months?


2. Superficial holiday celebrations. New Year's Eve is a blown opportunity for Christian joy and witness. It is the perfect time to get totally carried away with giving our year and ourselves to God, knowing that because of the Messiah he will accept us. It's phenomenal! What better time to sing about it, but most of us celebrate New Years (if at all) with little or no reference to God. The old-fashioned "Watch Night" services are long gone and nothing has replaced them. We are still trying to "keep Christ in Christmas" but we seem to have given up on trying to keep him in New Years. We have handed the day over to the world on a silver platter. Let's take it back.


Building on precedent:

The Jewish greeting, "Next Year in Jerusalem," is used especially in the celebration of Passover and Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), expressing the hope or dream of being "home" in Jerusalem for the festival next year. After singing the song, we could say to each other, "Next year in the New Jerusalem," expressing our hope that the city that comes down from heaven would have come down before this year is over.


Thanks in advance for any comments or assistance. Thanks already to my friend Valerie in Singapore, whose input on the first draft of the lyrics steered me toward an important change.


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