With the New Year comes a fresh start free from mistakes, regrets, and failures of the past year. Hope and possibilities and expectations jostle for space in my soul as I look to the future. Yes, if I’m honest, some anxiety too. But mostly excitement for what lies ahead. Like sojourners of times past, I want to welcome the Lord into these next 12 months. Or should I say, I with Him. I want to be sure the door of my heart is open to Him this New Year.
I recently read about an old Scottish tradition that placed much importance upon the New Year. Folks visited from house to house as the New Year rang in, wishing each other a good year while celebrating with food and drink. Once midnight passed, each household watched expectantly to see who would be the very first guest to cross the threshold of their door, thus portending what the next year would hold. I can just envision a knock on the door and families gathered around the hearth to see who would take that first important step into their home.
To acknowledge this tradition, the Celtic Daily Prayer Book includes a “first-footing” prayer for the New Year, on page 238 called The Opening Door, in which the pray-ers welcome Christ to be the “first foot” into their home to bless them. What a lovely idea!
I was so taken with this thought that I wrote a short prayer myself to welcome Christ into my New Year.
By Jane VanOsdol
I open the door of my heart this New Year …
to see Your glory all around me;
to hear the whisper of Your voice;
to smell the fragrance of Jesus in my life;
to taste the fruits of Your blessings;
to feel the presence of Your Spirit.
Welcoming your footsteps across the threshold of my heart,
Anticipating the gift of another year.
I wonder if your heart is open to God this year? Do you feel the anticipation of new adventures waiting to be lived, or have difficulties of time past left you dreading the door before you? Open the door to Jesus so that He is the first one to set foot in your heart this year.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20
May you experience the peace of Christ and the joy of living life with Him this year.
*Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net artur84