Happy New Year 2017 A.D.

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Happy New Year and Merry Eighth Day of Christmas.

Almighty and ever-living God, You make us both to will and to do those things that are good and acceptable in Your sight.  Let Your fatherly hand ever guide us and Your Holy Spirit ever be with us to direct us in the knowledge and obedience of Your Word that we may obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

— “For divine guidance” prayer, LSB, 310.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”  (James 1:17, ESV).

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New Year Prayer 2016 A.D.

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Happy New Year and merry eighth day of Christmas!  The eighth day of Christmas is the day your true love gives to you eight maids a milking.  (See: “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song).

The New Year celebration is a part of the twelve days of Christmas because the calendar is based on the birth of Christ.  All human history revolves around the one eternal God made flesh, who became a human baby.

New Year prayer:

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden, cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love You and worthily magnify Your holy name; through Jesus Christ , our Lord.

Lutheran Service Book, p. 312, “For purity.”

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

Most Popular 2014 Post

The most popular post in 2014 here on Light from Light was: “What does the cross symbolize?”  I wrote “What does the cross symbolize?” in 2001, and first published it here on Light from Light in 2009, so it has some staying power.

If you like the article, please share it with others on social media.  Thank you, and may God bless you in the New Year.

New Year Prayer 2015 A.D.

Happy New Year!

Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden, cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Your Holy Spirit that we may perfectly love You and worthily magnify Your holy name; through Jesus Christ , our Lord.

Lutheran Service Book, p. 312, “For purity.”

Kyrie eleison.
Christe eleison.
Kyrie eleison.

This Week’s Photo Challenge Word: Glitter

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This post is my entry in a word a week photography challenge.  This week’s word is glitter:  Downtown Naperville, Illinois, glittered during a snowstorm on New Year’s Eve.

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The picture above is from the Riverwalk in Naperville.  Behind the covered bridge is a campanile.  A campanile is a free standing bell tower.  Also, the wreath on the covered bridge glittered.

:)

The pictures were taken on New Year’s Eve 2007-2008 A.D.

Photographing Outdoor Christmas Lights

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The best time to take pictures of outdoor Christmas lights is in the snow right after sunset.  That way the camera can record a good balance of interesting light.

During the day, the holiday lights will often be overwhelmed.  At night, the lights will stand out, but most everything else will be pitch black.  Christmas lights look best in a twilight setting, preferably next to a warmly illumined church or home.  Especially appreciated are days with a sweet twilight winter blue.

Red, white, and green decorations provide a nice color contrast.

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Snow also brightens up a scene by reflecting light from the sky and the decorations.  In the photograph above, notice how the snow on the ground and the tree trunks adds to the interesting light.  Also, the snow on the house is blue, while the snow on the tree trunk is lit up by the red tree.  It adds depth, and makes for an interesting contrast of color and light.  Interesting light is what photography is all about.

The snow also provides a blank slate making the world fresh and new.  Instead of darkness, the world is clean, crisp, new, and white.  It is a clean slate upon which to shine new light.

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Putting up holiday lights can be an act of worship.  The Good Book says, “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”  (Psalm 141:2, NKJV).  Christmas lights are put up in celebration of the birth of the Savior.  May their light rise to heaven as a prayer, and may they illuminate the hearts of men by symbolizing the true Light of the world, Jesus.

Through the wonder of internet photography, the light from these trees can now travel around the world.

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Merry twelve days of Christmas!  Happy New Year!

Christmas ends on January 5.  The first day of Epiphany is January 6.  Epiphany is also a festival of revelation and light.

A New Year, 2012

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The sun blazes orange on the trees of an ice blue lake.

“I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see.”

The sun broke free under a cloudy sky, to say farewell and bye to eye.  It was a cloudy day that relented, but only for the sunset.

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My shadow waves goodbye to the old year, 2011.

“For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.”

The world is full of many beautiful greens and blues, each in their time.  Sometimes, I enjoy going out just to see what unique perspective or light might appear for even a few fleeting minutes.

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Long journeyed sunbeams skim across the frozen blue lake.

“I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.”

The three verses above were spoken by Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings as written by J.R.R. Tolkien.  Because they were leaving from Rivendell on their quest in Winter, Bilbo also said to The Fellowship of the Ring:

“When winter first begins to bite
and stones crack in the frosty night,
when pools are black and trees are bare,
’tis evil in the Wild to fare.”

In Winter is the coldest and darkest hour.  It is a difficult time to be in the wild.  Nonetheless, in the winter of this wild and sinful world, Christ was born.  Therefore, at this uncharacteristic time we celebrate the dawning of new life and a new year.  Since our calendars are based on the birth of Christ, New Year celebrations are a fitting aspect of Christmas.

“Behold, a Branch is growing
Of loveliest form and grace,
As prophets sung, foreknowing;
It springs from Jesse’s race
And bears one little Flow’r
In midst of coldest winter,
At deepest midnight hour.”

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“This Flow’r, whose fragrance tender,
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere …

“O Savior, Child of Mary,
Who felt our human woe;
O Savior, King of Glory,
Who dost our weakness know,
Bring us at length, we pray,
To the bright courts of heaven
And to the endless day.”

— “Behold, a Branch Is Growing,”
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary, 121: 1, 4, 5.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2009 A.D.

At the top of the picture is a Crescent Moon and the Morning Star.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  [James 1:17-18].

Happy New Year!