by Cass DuCharme

published in Family Matters e-newsletter, 1/16/14


The New Year is just over two weeks old, and, if you are like me, you are probably already struggling to keep your New Year's resolutions. Don't be too tough on yourself, because breaking bad habits or engaging in a new discipline isn't always an easy thing. In reality, resolving to do better requires more than just making a resolution.
This past Sunday during our Vesper Service we sang a hymn that made me think about my "resolutions" in a different light. Frances Havergal wrote the hymn over 140 years ago as a New Year's poem for her friends. As we sang this hymn, I realized that for over the more than fifty New Years that I have celebrated, my resolutions have focused more on what I was going to do, or not do, for a short period of time, rather than changing my ways for a lifetime.
Now don't get me wrong, I certainly think that we should all "resolve" to make ourselves better by watching what we eat, exercising, caring for others, and going to church every week. However, instead of making a resolution, let's make a new way of living. Let's live to care more about ourselves—our bodies, our minds, our spirits. Let's live to care more about others—their welfare, their needs, their hearts. Let's live as children of God and seek to live kingdom lives—lives that reflect the goodness and grace of God.
The hymn we sang reminded me once again that God is faithful. God calls us to follow, to be obedient, and to trust that whatever this year holds, God will walk with us.
The lyrics to the hymn are as follows and are sung to the tune AURELIA, or for those of you who don't know that tune name, it's the tune to "The Church's One Foundation." Would you please take a hymnal and stand with me, as we sing :)

Another year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be,
In working or in waiting, Another year with thee;
Another year of progress, Another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.
Another year of mercies, Of faithfulness and grace,
Another year of gladness, The glory of Thy face;
 Another year of leaning Upon They loving breast,
Another year of trusting, Of quiet, happy rest.
Another year of service, Of witness for Thy love,
Another year of training For holier work above;
Another year is dawning, Dear Father, let it be,
On earth, or else in heaven, Another year for Thee.

Another year has dawned and I'm glad that we get to share it together. Whatever the year brings, I hope that you'll resolve to continue following our Lord and being a part of our family of faith.