I love the words, Watch Night. Praying in the New Year. But as I was reading in my book of Common Prayer for Ordinary Radicals, Watch Night is when the slaves waited for the Emancipation to be legal on January 1,1863. The African American churches continue to celebrate freedom in their churches on New Year's Eve.
Today, I think of those in slavery. Human trafficking makes the back stories, not headlines. Even in America, we have more than you would think.
People are in bondage to many things, even if they move freely in their community. Can you think of slavery issues? Addictions, abuse, poverty and mental and physical illness are a few. And the name that encompasses them all is Sin. Yes, I believe that we are all born sinners, so I guess in this victim age, we are victims of our birth. We are all slaves to the bad in this world. I do not mean personal sin creates our illness, but in some cases it does. We live in a fallen world with no respecter of persons.
Jesus is our Emancipator. Many cannot believe as they are slaves to their own ideas. They will not accept the Truth of the Gospel. We tend to look only at this world and won't lift our eyes to the hills- from whence comes our help- The Maker of Heaven and Earth.
As we hope for the best in this New Year, I offer a challenge. Many claims about what it will bring- abundance, wealth, great favor- are circulating. Let us pray for those who are slaves. I do feel for the girls and women involuntarily kept in rooms with pimps and johns. I also think of the people out there every day, enslaved to their own desires, misconceptions and circumstances. Let us pray for all. And let us do more for them this year, than last. Reach out to one more person. Open our eyes to the hurting, the lost, the wanderers,who are just going to one funeral after another, losing hope with each day.
This Watch Night, resolve to give them Jesus.