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Auld Lang Syne

"Old Long Since..." Each year as the clock strikes midnight on December 31st, people in places around the world join in singing a tune from the 1700’s. They sing and cheer to words they neither understand nor can pronounce. “Auld Lang Syne” literally means “old long since” or, “times gone by.” As the calendar replaces the '12 of the past 12 months with a '13, resolutions begin with the hope of a new and improved lifestyle. For many, it becomes a time to heed the words of the Apostle Paul when he said, “…but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14). Like Paul who held the cloaks of those stoning Stephen (Acts 7:57-8), there is much in our “times gone by” that are desirable to forget and easy to leave behind. Through the forgiveness of Jesus Christ, we are set free to press on and grow in our relationship with Him now. In this Scripture, it is clear that not only did Paul have no time for his past life, he also leaves behind a focus on his previous progress as a Christian. The future goal claims all of his attention like a runner breaking down to the finish line, straining every muscle in his body as he reaches for the prize. Paul had a singleness of purpose, nothing could distract him. His life is summed up in the words he wrote in verse 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” God has given us His Word which is “living and powerful” (Hebrews 4:12), able to change and shape us into His image. As this new year gets under way, commit to forgetting those things which are behind, those things that weigh us down in our Spiritual journey, and reach forward for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. That high calling is a call from heaven and a call to heaven, a call to be like Christ and, one day, to be with Christ.