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Sunday, December 29, 2019

Distant sounds of celebration

During this season of celebration, there are many passages of Scripture typically cited for the big holidays of last week and this week.

Of course, Christmas has many from the events itself and others preceding it that foretold it.

This week, Lord willing, we celebrate another new year. New years are not typically mentioned directly in the Bible, but there are several references to the “first day” of the “first month.”

Today I came across a passage that is not particular to either time on the calendar, but speaks of a large celebration.

At the dedication of the rebuilt wall of Jerusalem, “Far outside Jerusalem the noise from our celebration could be heard” (Nehemiah 12:43).

I once had a friend who really wanted to be in Times Square for New Year's Eve someday. I later heard from others about the long all-day waits and limited facilities that don't make it into the broadcast that indicate the experience is not as pleasant as some would think. Nonetheless, when the countdown is finished, the ball is lit, and the new year has begun, the sound of the revelers can surely be heard for miles, if one is not making noise of his own.

I've had or heard of a couple experiences myself that echo these sentiments, both from my alma mater.

The first comes from the semester before I started. I was visiting for a weekend, and students told me about how the Newsboys had just been to campus for a concert. It was a big production for a small venue. Among other things, the floor bounce was visible and the foundation of that building situation on a hill actually shifted three inches during the concert. Afterwards they were told the concert could be heard in a town 20 miles away.

A couple years ago I returned for the solar eclipse that was going right over campus. Images or video don't explain why, but a solar eclipse can bring out a cheer from a crowd, especially after they've been waiting six hours for two minutes of totality. Afterwards we were told by some folks who were watching from down the hill that they could hear the cheer from the campus.

You don't have to be in the middle of the biggest action in order to appreciate the festivities. Sometimes being outside an event can add its own significance.

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