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  • Ed Hlad

Paul Always Says It Best

I never thought I would be quoting a Barry Manilow song but here it is:

Don't look so sad It's not so bad you know It's just another night That's all it is, it's not the first It's not the worst you know We've come through all the rest We'll get through this We've made mistakes But we've made good friends too Remember all the nights we spent with them? And all our plans Who says they can't come true? Tonight's another chance to start again It's just another New Year's Eve Another night like all the rest It's just another New Year's Eve Let's make it the best It's just another New Year's Eve It's just another Auld Lang Syne But when we're through this New Year You'll see, will be Just fine We're not alone, we've got the world you know And it won't let us down, just wait and see And we'll grow old, but think how wise we'll grow There's more you know, it's only New Year's Eve It's just another New Year's Eve Another night like all the rest It's just another New Year's Eve Let's make it the best It's just another New Year's Eve It's just another Auld Lang Syne But when we're through this New Year, you'll see, will be Just fine

OK, it’s not Shakespeare. It is a melancholy song that comes to my mind each New Year’s Eve. How these songs get stuck in our mind is beyond me. And yes, I will reluctantly admit it, I used to listen to Barry Manilow. Even made my son sit through a concert of his that was on TV. Some would say that was a mild form of child abuse. But this song reminds me of how life’s situations can complicate relationships. Another year brings hope but New Year’s Eve often brings the past year’s struggles into focus. So we hope for a good year but realize, as we look back on the past year, how difficult life and relationships can be.

I am kind of melancholy this year as I look back on 2020. I am thankful for it and rejoice in it, because that is what I am told to do, but 2020 complicated so many relationships in my life. I am not good at relationships but that doesn’t mean they are not very important to me. This year, so many of those relationships, suffered from difficult circumstances.

Paul says it best, 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20, “But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.” I miss so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ. Seeing your faces each week was such an encouragement and joy to me. Living and walking together. Being frustrated with one another. Stepping on each other’s toes. Loving and encouraging each others. I miss it all. I do feel as if Satan has torn us apart (and no, I am not calling Governor Murphy Satan). I simply miss you all and as we start a new year, I see, at least for a short time (I hope), more of the same. I am praying that God allows us to be all together soon.

So, as we sit in our homes this New Year’s Eve, please know that even though we have been torn apart in person...we have not been torn apart in heart. As this separation continues, it is easy to fade farther apart in our hearts also. May we work hard to stay unified and close. We are the only things we bring to heaven with us.

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