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  • Betty A. Burnett

New Year’s Eve ~ Waiting with Anticipation

For many years in the African American communities, Watchnight services have been observed in most churches from ten o’clock PM until midnight. For some of the African Americans, New Year service was also called “Freedom’s Eve”. Churches and homes were waiting for President Abraham Lincoln to announce that all slaves in the confederate states were declared free; this was called the Emancipation Proclamation. At the stroke of midnight, January 1, 1863, “freedom rang”. Since this year will be quite different, most people will be celebrating New Year’s Eve in their homes due to the deadly Covid-19 pandemic virus that has affected the entire world. I want to concentrate on “Freedom” and the “Midnight”. The significance of Midnight: The children of Israel were delivered out of bondage in Egypt, after the last plague which was at midnight (Exodus 12:29-42). Freedom (deliverance) came at Midnight. It was midnight when Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God…. Not only were they delivered, but some people were saved through this powerful move of God (Acts 16:25-34). Freedom (deliverance) came at Midnight. It was midnight 1863, when the slaves who had been forced with harsh labor, were set free. Midnight is a symbol of change whether it is good or bad. Doomsday Clock at midnight- the idea began in 1947 to warn humanity of dangers of nuclear war. Midnight symbolizes the end of the world. Even though there will be mass destruction, God is the only One in total control, and the world will not come to an end until He has ordained that time to be. Until then, we are waiting with anticipation for our Lord’s return. He who testifies these things says: Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus. Why do we want the Lord Jesus to come quickly? The only true freedom is in Christ Jesus (John 8:32, 36), which is spiritual. As long as we are in these flesh bodies, we are bound. That is why the whole creation is groaning and waiting for Christ to return and take us out of this sinful environment that has all kinds of problems. Because the creation itself will also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into glorious liberty of the children of God (Romans 8:18-23). Most of all, we will see our Lord Jesus face to face (1 Corinthians 13:12). As the year of 2020 ends at the stroke of the clock at midnight, the change will bring in 2021. The greatest change is when Jesus comes to take us to heaven to be with Him. Until that change comes, we should be watching and waiting with anticipation for His return. We are seeing the signs of the times (Luke 21:28). As we watch and wait, we are called to work until our day is done. And, when our day is done, we will be changed and we will experience Ultimate Freedom. Unshackled ~ Betty A. Burnett

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