A Time To Remember

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "For Thy Mercy And Thy Grace"1 (Lyrics)

On New Year's Eve, people will ring in the new year in different ways. In some countries, there will be fireworks; in others, there will be public celebrations in city squares or parks; and there will be family gatherings in private homes. Some of us will just be together at home. For many people, it is a very nostalgic time, a time of reflection and remembering, and also a time of looking forward.

In a devotional booklet that we are reading this year, we learned that at one time, it was tradition among Reformed families in the Netherlands to read Psalm 90 on New Year's Eve. Personally, I don't recall that tradition. December 31st was my mother's birthday, and we always had a lot of company on that day. In the evening, we would go to church, and after that, more family members would come to celebrate my mother's birthday. We would go to church again on January 1st in the morning. Nevertheless, many people would read Psalm 90 before midnight on "Oudejaars Avond" — "Old Year's Evening".

Psalm 90:1-2 – Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. (NKJV)

One of the parents would read this psalm and then a few words would be said, perhaps about their ancestors, or the year that was about to end. They would remember the good times and the bad during the year and would consider how God had been with them during that time. They would remember new births and the passing on of others.

The changing of the year is a good time to recall things past. It is a good time to remember that God was with our parents and grandparents and with generations past. But also, God is with us now — God is from everlasting to everlasting. It is good to ask the Lord to "teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12 NKJV)

The words of Psalm 90 have survived the centuries and will last through the ages. A lot of things have disappeared, times and habits have changed, but God is the same: was, is, and always will be. We can depend on God from generation to generation.

Psalm 90:16-17 – Let Your work appear to Your servants, and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; yes, establish the work of our hands. (NKJV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, as we remember the year past, our parents and grandparents, our children and grandchildren, we pray that they and all people will be aware of the fact that You are our God, and that You were with us and are with us even now. We are thankful indeed. We offer this prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Wonderful reminder Joel. Have a wonderful New Year. God bless.

    Thank you Joel! All the Very Best for 2014 to you and your loved ones.

    Beautiful and appropriate words for this last day of the year. Thank you.

    Hello Joel, a very good meditation to usher in the New year.
    Thanks for sharing.
    I particularly liked your thought for today of never saying “no” to a gift from a child.
    God bless you and yours this New Year.

    Dear Joel,
    What a nice tradition for New Year’s Eve. Psalm 90 is a great Scripture to reflect on the past and look forward to the future. Thank you for sharing this idea – I for one am going to pass it along to my family.
    Happy New Year to you and yours!
    Blessings always.

    Dear Joel Jongkind,
    Thank you for helping us to remember that God has been, is, and will be with us.
    I learned and appreciated Reformed traditions while teaching two years.
    I pray that God will make the New Year Wonderful for you and yours.
    Keep writing.

    Thank you.

    Thanks for a good word this day Joel.

    Thank you, and may Jehovah richly BLESS you, and those you love, in 2014, and even forever. Amen.

    Thanks Joel, I wish you and Greta a happy New Year as well.
    Thank you for all of your support and help throughout the year, I really do appreciate it! See you next year.

    Beautiful devotional, but then I am not surprised as FATHER flowed his words through you, HIS vessel. I ask in JESUS name that FATHER rain down blessings of health, happiness & prosperity all of your days until the last earthly blessing when HE lifts you to your new eternal home. AMEN & AMEN.
    (Texas USA)

    Dear Joel.
    Your devotional for Dec.31 brought back lovely memories for me. My Oma could recite Psalm 90 – in Dutch – from memory, and often did at some time during the New Year celebrations. That Psalm has been a wonderful source of comfort to me over the years, as, not only blessings, but trials and challenges have been a part of my life. Last night I read parts of it to my son, and later at midnight indulged in a quiet solo reading of it for myself. Thanks for the prompt.

    Dear Sir,
    I don’t know how to thank you for your wonderful piece. It touched my heart. I used to be very much involved in the church and all connected activities and being in the church with my parents on 31st December night was something I cherished as we sang about our hope for years to come. Things changed after marriage. Yesterday I couldn’t go to church and this morning also due to many reasons and I missed it much but this message of yours came to me.
    Memories raced back and forth about my parents who were involved with Evangelism and how we spent the time in the presence of the Lord. This is comforting to me as I know that the Lord will meet my needs. The message that you spoke on Psalm 90 is very refreshing.
    Thank you so much,

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