But anyway, as tomorrow is the beginning of the Chinese new year, and i have some thoughts I have been meaning to post something since our new year, i thought this might be the most appropriate opportunity to write about 'year naming'. This is an idea that came from Ann Voskamp, who likes to name her year before it begins. To set the scene, here is part of a conversation I had on skype with my friend Sophie a while back:
[11/01/2010 19:10:08] Alison Young: so, you know Ann has made this her year of YES! Have you named your year?
[11/01/2010 19:10:55] Sophie: ironically no!
[11/01/2010 19:11:00] Sophie: I like the idea tho.
[11/01/2010 19:11:20] Alison Young: me too....but i sort of think its easier to name something after its happened..
[11/01/2010 19:11:44] Sophie: yes i know what you mean. i don't feel very prophetic!
[11/01/2010 19:12:34] Sophie: i suppose it's just the same idea as a resolution because it means you set out to have a certain approach to stuff and that's good - well, depending on the name!
[11/01/2010 19:13:06] Alison Young: yeah....you'd have to be more of a positive thinker than me i think.
[11/01/2010 19:12:52] Sophie: what would you name your last year?
So I decided that 2009 could be called the year of hope. There were lots of reasons for this, but top on the list was the fact that 2009 saw me becoming more and more convinced of the wonderful and certain hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Hope that has nothing to do with how I feel or how circumstances look. Hope that says that I am in Jesus Christ and brought into the glorious community of the Happy Trinity. Hope that tells me that all my righteousness and salvation is in Jesus, and so couldn't be more secure! 2009 - the Year of HOPE!
And that led me to thinking about this verse from Romans 12, verse 12:
'Be joyful in hope...'
So if 2009 was the year of hope, then 2010 can be the year of joy. Not because I 'have a feeling I will be in a good mood for 365 days', but because if I have hope then joy is possible in all circumstances. If I feel I have nothing else to be joyful in, I still have hope. And it is not a momentary hope, that changes with my feelings, but a sure and certain hope, that depends only on Jesus and not at all on me.
2010 - the Year of JOY
"By faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope" Galatians 5:5