Honestly... I'm usually moody New Years Eve because of my assumed mass public stupidity for throwing a GIGANTIC party celebrating one day passing. Ask Krissy... I've made her New Year's life unpleasant for nearly 15 years now for seemingly no good reason. But this has been going on in me for much longer than that.
When I got saved and began to sense spiritual things, I interpreted my New Years depression as "feeling the heaviness of sin" that was filling our community accompanying the debauchery of the night. I think this was, and is, partially true. But until recently, I haven't been honest with myself about my New Years issues.
The most significant change I think I've gone through personally this year has been in the discovering of how to live out the concept of being "blessed beyond the curse".
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
When I grew up, my house backed on to my elementary school playground. At night, when all the cool kids would be a hanging out and flirting... I used to see it all going on, wondering why I was funny enough to laugh with AT school, but not after it. Now... I was far from a social outsider... but I was the "ha ha ha... Dave you're so funny. Now go stand over there while I make out with your friend OK?" guy. Celebrate good times come on. New Years always seemed like the IN party that I wasn't invited to.
Then when I got saved, and party's were rare. Half of the church would pray in the New Year because of the evil evil world out there. And while part of me wanted to do that too... I knew that I wasn't totally happy with that. Frankly, I thought it was pretty lame to hide away from the big bad world. I also didn't want to go out mindlessly and throw my convictions to the wind either! The church has such a hard time reconciling "fun" for some reason.
The whole chapter of Romans 14 has meant a lot to me in 2008. But what God specifically convicted me of were verses 14 and16:
As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil.
Sandwiched between those verses is the part about giving up a food (or whatever the gray area is) if it causes my brother to stumble. God spoke to me that I'd put a disproportionate value on giving things up, so as not to cause people to stumble. So much so that I'd started calling clean things unclean. And it was wrong. In my attempts to be pure, Holy, set apart... I wasn't living being "blessed beyond the curse"... and I was missing out on freedom. I was taking some of the heavy yoke on me that was supposed to feel light (since Jesus took the heavy away).
New Years is not evil. Or heavy. Or wrong. Neither is disco dancing in stupid 70's shirts and drinking punch in cocktail glasses. There are dumb things done for dumb reasons... but I'm BLESSED BEYOND THE CURSE and I'm thankful for freedom. Real freedom.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
So I'm gonna head down to the house of God tonight... put on my boogie shoes... and dance the Freedom Dance with some of the most amazing people I know.