Are We Going to Celebrate, Praise God, for What He Has Already Done for Us in 2022? Why Does Anyone Anticipate or Confidently Expect, to Celebrate God’s Grace in this Coming Year? Isaiah 63:7-9

Isaiah 63:7-9 The Message

All the Things God Has Done That Need Praising

7-9 I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
    all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
    his great goodness to the family of Israel—
Compassion lavished,
    love extravagant.
He said, “Without question these are my people,
    children who would never betray me.”
So he became their Savior.
    In all their troubles,
    he was troubled, too.
He didn’t send someone else to help them.
    He did it himself, in person.
Out of his own love and pity
    he redeemed them.
He rescued them and carried them along
    for a long, long time.

The Word of God for the Children of God.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

Celebrating God as God is Celebrating Us!

God’s Prophet Isaiah invites us to look back on a year of God’s grace drawing to a close and to look ahead to another year of God’s grace that is just beginning.

Celebrating What the Lord has Done for Us!

In the ancient calendar used by the Romans, from which our calendar was created, the name of each month had a meaning.

For example the month of February was so named because that was the time of the year for a feast called February.

Lupercalia was a pastoral festival of Ancient Rome observed annually on February 15 to purify the city, promoting health and fertility. Lupercalia was also known as dies Februatus, after the purification instruments called februa, the basis for the month named Februarius.

Some of the months were named for the false gods that the Romans worshiped. March was named after Mars, the god of war.

May was probably derived from the goddess Maia.

June was named after the goddess Juno.

The months July and August were named, respectively, after Julius Caesar and his successor, Caesar Augustus. September, October, November, and December were named for the numbers seven, eight, nine, and ten in the Latin language.

That was the order in which those months fell in the Roman calendar.

One month in the ancient Roman calendar that had an especially descriptive name was January.

The Latin word janua means a door or window from which a person may look both ways, in other words, in and out–forward and back.

Historians say that January is also derived from the name Janus, a common household god among the Romans.

He was often depicted facing in two directions.

Basically, he was looking forward and back.

As we stand at the doorway looking back on 2022, to the first month of January and a new year in 2023, we will naturally look back over the way we have come.

We also naturally look ahead to the new year and where we are going.

As we celebrate, prepare ourselves and our families, friends and neighbors later this New Year’s Eve, we have to look at the year just past, the year lying ahead.

May we through our Love of God, through our Love for Word of God share in the coming of the New Year – Celebrate the coming of tonight’s midnight plus One Minute, be moved with anticipation, with confident expectation, to greet, God!

Celebrating the Grace of God in our Lives!

I. Look back on it in appreciation

II. Look ahead to it with anticipation

Our biblical text comes from the end of Isaiah’s prophecy.

Isaiah had just described the miraculous changes the Messiah—the promised Savior, would bring to God’s people in the chapters previous to our text.

Here Isaiah went on to describe the effect His preaching would have on those in Israel who were faithful to God.

He introduces the final section of his prophecy by recalling all of God’s ancient mercies, the ceaseless acts of loving kindnesses bestowed upon His Children.

Isaiah 63:7-9Amplified Bible

God’s Ancient Mercies Recalled

I will tell of the loving kindnesses of the Lord, and the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord,
According to all that the Lord has done for us,
And His great goodness toward the house of Israel,
Which He has shown them according to His compassion
And according to the abundance of His loving kindnesses.

For He said, “Be assured, they are My people,
Sons who will not be faithless.”
So He became their Savior [in all their distresses].

In all their distress He was distressed,
And the [a]angel of His presence saved them,
In His love and in His compassion He redeemed them;
And He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

To these ancient words, still ever true, we should all say, “Alleluia! Amen.”

It reminds us that throughout all of our days, the Lord has been kind to us.

Tonight, at midnight minus one minute we should all regale each other, tell of the abundance of his kindnesses, deeds, from 2022 which God is to be praised.

Tonight, at midnight plus one minute, we should all proclaim and claim and to hug all of God’s coming mercies and loving kindnesses, His grace in year 2023.

These ancient words from Isaiah’s prophecy reminds us to look back in appreciation of God’s grace in 2022 and to look ahead with anticipation and with confident expectation, for more of God’s miraculous grace in year 2023.

We don’t have to look very far back in the year that is ending to be reminded of God’s undeserved love.

In fact we really only have to look back one week.

A week ago tonight was Christmas Eve.

We were reminded, through the celebration of His Gospel, Christ was born to live the holy life we did not live, to die under the just punishment for our sins.

The clearest and most complete reminder of God’s kindness and love for us.

We rejoice, through the celebration of His Word, that we have had the privilege to once again celebrate his first birthday and speak about his great love for us.

But obviously our spiritual blessings for 2022 weren’t confined to Christmas.

For the last 52 Sundays our God has fed us with his Word when we gathered for praise and prayer and worship.

We followed Jesus to the cross, we shouted, “He is risen!”

We listened to the words and works of our Savior God.

In Bible study, and Sunday school, through the children’s ministries, and too, through our personal time in God’s Word we have found healing and hope.

We have felt God’s presence and been reassured of his love when we sinned.

As we celebrate God’s grace tonight, at midnight minus one minute, we look back in gratitude and appreciation of a whole year of enjoying the Word of God and all of the abundance of Father, Son, Holy Spirit, that it has brought to us.

In 2022 we also often received the pledge that we are forgiven children of God as we received the body and blood of Christ in the Lord’s Supper.

There Jesus invited us to eat and drink the proof that full payment for our sins has been made.

At His Passover table we were reminded that too we will eat and drink with him in the Kingdom of heaven.

Although we have many things to be thankful for this New Year’s Eve we are most thankful for those Means of Grace Jehovah God has given us–His Word and Sacraments.

The person speaking in our text from Isaiah acknowledged that the Lord had done many good things for his people.

The Lord had brought his people out of slavery in Egypt.

He gave them a land flowing with milk and honey.

He repeatedly defeated their enemies.

Through mighty miracles he had protected his people and prospered them.

He blessed their crops and their other sources of income.

He did all these things because of his compassion and love.

They were God’s people and enjoyed all the benefits of being God’s people..

This reminder of what God did for his people of old reminds us of what God does for his people today.

He still does great things for us.

Who of us can’t tell of the kindnesses of the Lord?

Take a moment to look back in appreciation for all that the Lord has done for us this past year.

Who of us can’t tell of the deeds for which God is to be praised?

Our Lord has given us abundant life, shelter, food, and clothing this past year.

We have enjoyed the blessings of family and friends and neighbors.

We have enjoyed God’s creation for another year.

The Lord provided us with blessings beyond belief, way more than we can use.

But someone might legitimately say not everything in 2001 was all that good.

What about the continued presence of covid19?

Someone might say, “I had troubles and problems from day one of 2022.”

“In fact this year was one of the worst I have ever had. I lost my job. I was sick. My wife and children too. I faced financial problems and other troubles. 2022 was not a good year at all, I really don’t see all that much God has done for me.”

Yes, we face the temptation to feel that way and have those kinds of thoughts.

But when Isaiah recorded these words from verses 7-9, he could have said something similar to that.

He and other believers faced persecution.

Their country was under the threat of foreign invasion.

Outwardly speaking, for him, things were very bad and seemed very uncertain.

Yet, Isaiah knew that no matter how bad things looked God was with him and his people, Isaiah knew that he could only see things from a human perspective.

If he could look at things from God’s perspective he would know that God was gravely concerned about him, doing everything possible for his eternal good.

If this Isaiah were to be reading these ancient words in 2022, from his ancient context and perspective, how might he now reflect back upon the grace of God?

Because of God’s grace great clouds of witnesses can look back at this year with real appreciation – no matter what has happened the Lord has been good to us.

We are reminded that even when things looked bad in 2022 God was with us.

Isaiah 63:9Amplified Bible

In all their distress He was distressed,
And the [a]angel of His presence saved them,
In His love and in His compassion He redeemed them;
And He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

In verse 9 we are told, “In all their distress he too was distressed.”

God was distressed with us in our distress.

Through all the trials and troubles we faced in 2022 God was both empathetic and sympathetic to us.

It should always makes us feel better when someone knows what we are going through, when someone understands, when someone can relate to our stories.

Hebrews 4:14-16Amplified Bible

14 Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior]. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16 Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].

We have a great High Priest – Immanuel, God With Us, God Within Us – Jesus, who gives us anticipation of grace, everlasting expectation of faith, hope, love.

That is a reason to celebrate God’s grace. Our God felt the pain we felt. When we were shedding our tears of sorrow our God was watching us, caring about us.

Verse 9 of our text continues, “and the angel of his presence saved them.”

We may never know the full measure of all those ‘close calls’ we had last year.

We may never know how many disasters the Lord protected us from.

We may have repeatedly walked through the valley of the shadow of death and not even known it. But we do know the Lord’s presence saved us from disaster.

He sends his angels to protect us and he shelters us under his protecting hand.

Verse 9 concludes, “In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”

Through everything God was there.

As we celebrate God’s grace this New Year’s Eve we look back with appreciation for God’s protection.

The Lord Jehovah said through Isaiah in 46:3-4,

“I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

From our youth to our old age God promises to be with us.

From year to year God will sustain and help us.

Through good times and bad times the Lord carries us.

As we take those few precious moments to look back and reflect at another year of our faithful God’s protection and love, may we look back at it in appreciation.

46 1-3 God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains.

    Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

4-6 River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city,
    this sacred haunt of the Most High.
God lives here, the streets are safe,
    God at your service from crack of dawn.
Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,
    but Earth does anything he says.

    Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

8-10 Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
    He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
    breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
    loving look at me, your High God,
    above politics, above everything.”

11     Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

With the utmost expectation and confidence, may we celebrate God’s grace!

What reason did God have for allowing troubles into our lives this past year?

He used all these things to draw us into a much closer relationship with Him.

To remind us that the Lord is our strength and our only way out of trouble.

He teaches us where to go for help.

He teaches us how to be strong and face the attacks of the devil and this world.

Our struggles in 2022 have made us stronger Christians.

Have we learned to rely on God more fully?

I fervently pray the answer to that question is an unequivocal Yes!

I fervently pray we can even look back on the bad things of this past year with appreciation for our God has been with us,. God has carried us and protected us.


The other part of our New Year’s celebration is looking ahead.

We make resolutions.

We make plans.

We look forward to another year of God’s grace.

That gives us a great advantage over many who will celebrate New Year’s Eve tonight.

We go forward with God’s grace. We can look ahead to 2023 with anticipation.

What is the one thing we look forward to with anticipation in 2023?

It is God’s mercy and grace.

We know that we will definitely, decisively fail and fall many times.

We know that we will fall short of God’s perfect and holy will.

But we also know that our Lord’s mercy is new every day.

We know that our God will forgive us through the blood of his Son Jesus Christ.

No matter how badly we stumble next year our God will have mercy on us.

We have blown it many times this past year and will blow it again next year, but our God will continue to extend us His grace and will have mercy and forgive us.

Will we look ahead unto 2023 with anticipation of God’s grace and forgiveness?

Will we also confidently, expectantly, eagerly look forward to 2023 with joy, anticipation because of the blessing of God’s Word for another 52 Sundays?

Will we once again find renewed faith, renewed hope and comfort in the Word?

For another year will we be built up in our faith and find guidance for our life?

In 2023 will we see souls enter the kingdom of God through the sacrament of Baptism?

Will we grow in love for one another as we stand together before an altar and receive the body and blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?

Will 2023 be a good year no matter what happens or how it happened because we have the one thing we need – the means by which God brings us his grace?

We have his Word and Sacraments.

Reality is, Truth is still that instead of looking ahead to 2023 with anticipation there are many of our neighbors who will look ahead with fear and trepidation.

What will the new year hold?

Will the economy be good or bad?

Will companies lay people off or will many be hiring?

Will taxes go up or down?

Will our investments go up or down?

What about covid19?

What about the ongoing scourge violence and senseless crime in our streets?

How wonderful it is for us to be confident that the no matter what happens God will be with us and care for us.

He promises to provide all that we need.

We may experience setbacks but the Lord will only do what is best for us.

And what about the potential problems we might face in 2023?

What if we lose a loved one or lose our job?

What if we ourselves get acutely sick?

What if our spouse or our children get acutely ill?

What if some physical or natural disaster strikes?

What if economic disaster strikes at our bank accounts?

Perhaps there will be another wave of the pandemic.

Again, I fervently we hear the ancient words of Isaiah from verse 9:

“In all their distress he too was distressed, and the angel of his presence saved them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”

In any distress which might come flowing down our way in 2023, God will be with us – Jehovah will rescue us and carry us through even the worst of times.

So how does our knowledge of God’s grace and goodness for this new year affect our plans for 2023?

How do we look ahead with confident anticipation in a God pleasing way?

We put all our dreams and goals in the Lord’s hands.

We have to be careful how we look forward with anticipation.

We are given this New Year’s advice in James 4:13-15,

“Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

As we look forward to 2023 with anticipation, expectation we recognize it will only be by God’s grace and only according to God’s will that we make our plans.

That experience allows me to ‘stand before you’ this day and ‘preach’ this text from Isaiah 63:7-9 with confident expectation of its contemporary fulfillment.

In the good times and in the bad times God is with us.

As God’s children we tell of all the good things he has done for us.

In 2022 we have enjoyed his love, and grace, and blessing.

We have enjoyed his Word and Sacraments.

He has been with us through everything.

He has felt our pain and sorrow.

We look back in appreciation. We also look forward with anticipation.

We also look forward believing God will be with us again in that New Year.

He will provide us with what we need both physically and spiritually.

He will comfort us and share our pain and sorrow.

Today or tonight as we ring in the new year 2023, celebrate God!

Celebrate God’s grace.

Celebrate Grace that moves us to reflect back on God with appreciation.

Celebrate Grace that allows us to look forward to God with anticipation.

Celebrate Grace that allows us to look forward to God with confidence.

Celebrate Grace that allows us to look forward to God with expectation.

Celebrate God EVERYDAY as God Celebrates Us EVERYDAY! Amen.

In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,

Let us Pray,

Psalm 19 The Message

19 1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies,
    God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning,
    Professor Night lectures each evening.

3-4 Their words aren’t heard,
    their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth:
    unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.

4-5 God makes a huge dome
    for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband
    leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The daybreaking sun an athlete
    racing to the tape.

That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies
    from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts,
    warming hearts to faith.

7-9 The revelation of God is whole
    and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
    and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
    showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
    and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
    with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
    down to the nth degree.

10 God’s Word is better than a diamond,
    better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
    better than red, ripe strawberries.

11-14 There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
    and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
    Or know when we play the fool?
Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
    Keep me from stupid sins,
    from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
    scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.
These are the words in my mouth;
    these are what I chew on and pray.
Accept them when I place them
    on the morning altar,
O God, my Altar-Rock,
    God, Priest-of-My-Altar.

Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum

Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia! Amen.

Author: Thomas E Meyer Jr

Formerly Homeless Sinner Now, Child of God, Saved by Grace.

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