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When I was a child living in a parsonage, we attended church services on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Imagine how we felt as kids when these holidays fell near a Sunday. Because we also attended morning and evening Sunday services, we would joke about just staying in our Sunday dresses and camping out at church.

Fourth Presbyter Church

Fourth Presbyterian Church – my church now

However, as I look back at all that hard pew sitting at year’s end, I have many warm and comforting memories, one of which is singing a song that has become an old favorite:

Another year is dawning! Dear Father let it be,
In working or in waiting, Another year with Thee;
Another year of leaning Upon Thy loving breast,
Another year of trusting, Of quiet, happy rest.

Another year of mercies, Of faithfulness and grace;
Another year of gladness In the shining of Thy face;
Another year of progress, Another year of praise,
Another year of proving Thy presence all the days.

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.*

These words are soothing to say or sing whether happy or sad, but especially in sadness on days when nothing seems to go right, when news of injustices prevail.  It’s a comfort just knowing I have another to lean on, one more powerful than my finite self can imagine.

Singing these verses to myself today, the last line struck me in a new way–another year is dawning, even in heaven! I’m smiling as I imagine my sister Kay  who died in October, along with my brother, a brother-in-law, and my folks all starting a new year for Him too!

I hope these words will be a comfort to you, also, as we start another year of “working or in waiting” – 2013.

*Frances R. Havergal, 1874