A New, New Year's Tradition

January 7, 2022

I have a young Vietnamese immigrant nail tech who has become a dear friend. When I visited her for a Christmas manicure we were catching up on family and sharing plans for the new year. I asked what she and her husband would be doing on New Year’s Day. She shared tradition.

Mya said on New Year’s Day everyone gets up fairly early with a unified goal—giving the whole house a complete cleaning. Men and women, boys and girls. Everyone has a task, and since the families typically live in communities together, if you get done at your house before another family’s home is done, you go help them get done. They purge unneeded things, organize, and bring things into the best shape possible. Then when everyone is done, they spend the evening eating special treats and delicacies they have made. When the work is done, it’s time to feast, relax, and get ready to enjoy the new year’s fresh start.

When I told her how much I loved that and thought I should do it to, she exclaimed with a little bell-like laugh, “Oh, Brenda! You don’t need to do that! You live in a house with walls all around! We have much open air and it gets dusty and piled up! Your house doesn’t get dirty and messy like that!” I laughed with a big belly laugh! Little did she know—most of us also have homes that could use some cleaning and purging to start the year. The teamwork and feasting would be fun and productive too.

Spiritually, that is certainly a splendid idea. Do you have anything that needs cleaned and purged for a fresh new year? Read Paul’s suggestions, and make a cleanup schedule for a fresh start with Jesus:

Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace. Throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body. And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Instead, use your hands for good hard work, and then give generously to others in need. Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:1-3, 22-32

  • What cleaning and purging needs to happen as this new year begins? Do it! Refresh!