12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” 13 Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.”14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards;[a] I judge no one. 16 Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father[b] who sent me.17 In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. 18 I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.” 19 Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
Tonight, as clocks strike midnight all over the world, there will be fireworks that light up the darkness of the night, and a feeling of warmth will spread over those who have been waiting in the cold for that moment of change…
We celebrate the coming of the New Year with light, not only fireworks and sparklers, but with brightly lit parties, the flashing of headlights, as well as with noisemakers and car horns, as a way of lighting the darkness and of announcing the coming of a brand new year!
It is fitting that we celebrate the coming of the year with a moment of joy, as in this moment that the year is born, we can feel hope for the future, hope for a fresh new page that has yet to be written…hope that this year will be better than the last!
It was with a similar hope that we welcomed our children into the world, before we knew what challenges we would face together, maybe even before we realized that we would wind up as single parents. The future lay ahead of us…and it was filled with amazing possibilities.
Today, we may be somewhat more jaded, since we have now experienced life as single parents, and the struggles that being a single parent can present to us; however, at this moment when the year is turning we can celebrate the hope of what is to come…we can be reminded that our future is still filled with possibilities, as our world (as dark as it can be on this winter’s day) is still filled with the hope of Christ, the light of the world…the light of God’s great love for us!
It is this light that we share with our children, family and friends, as we celebrate the joy of living, and as we come together in faith to help each other face the many challenges, as well as share the many joys, that life has to offer to us in the year to come.
Let us Pray
God, thank you for the coming new year, and all of the possibilities it holds. Let us build upon all we have learned during the past year, to make this new year a good one, filled with the hope of God’s love for us, as given in the living Christ, who is the light of the world; and let us share the light of this hope with each other on a daily basis, as we face both the challenges and the joys of living together…in your name.