It is New Year’s day, well at this point it is almost over. The day for us was marked by Mass at St. Gregory the Great, three levees and a birthday party. Our first levee was at HMCS Hunter, the Second at the Armouries, and the third was at St. John’s Church where Bishop Bob Bennett was host. It was in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Huron. When all of that was aid and done we visited The Shield household to sing Happy birthday to a special young man – Zachery Shields who turned 6 today! Happy Birthday Zach!

New Year’s Day seems to be a time when we all take stock of the past 12 months and look forward to the 12 ahead. For many of us that will mean that we will be relieved for what is finished in this year and for others it may be a sad farewell to the year. What ever the scenario we can be sure that we all have opportunity in the days ahead. There is for us a blank page and we can be sure that on those pages we will no doubt write some happy stories and we can also be sure that we may write some sadness. What we can be so certain of is God’s care and protection in the midst of all of it.  This time of the year is always a time of hope. We should look ahead with expectation of new beginnings. I can best say happy new year with a toast. Today that seemed to be the thing to do. We toasted everything imaginable at the military levees. (It is formal tradition to toast the Queen, our troops overseas, etc.) I think we all need to toast to a new year and the possibilities that are offered in it. So I offer this one of Thomas Hood;

“And ye, who have met with Adversity’s blast,
And been bow’d to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass’d
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury –
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen.”

That should be the last toast of the day. It is now only 40 minutes to the second day of 2007. I have to go count it down.