“AULD LANG SYNE”
“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17 ESV)
Who has not sung or heard the beloved New Year’s Eve (or as the Scots may say, Ole Year’s) Scottish song – “Auld Lang Syne”? But who actually understands the words of that song anyway?
I decided to look it up (just a quick online search) and here’s what I found:
“The Meaning of 'Auld' is "Old" and the meaning of 'Lang Syne ' is "Long Since". The lyrics "We'll take a cup o' kindness yet" refers to the tradition of raising a glass, or a cup o' kindness meaning with "good will, friendship and kind regard" and in remembrance of "noble deeds". The custom of drinking a "health" at a special gathering to the prosperity or good health of another dates back into antiquity. The old Christmas term ’Wassail’ derives from Old Norse phrase 'ves heill' meaning "be healthy". (Retrieved from: https://www.carols.org.uk/auld_lang_syne_song.htm)
Another source had this to say about the person who wrote (or not) the song:
The UK Telegraph reports in its article of December 31, 2015 titled “Auld Lang Syne: should old lyrics be forgot... (plus eight things you didn't know)” that Robert Burns, who many thought wrote the lyrics “didn’t invent Auld Lang Syne as we know it. The Scottish Bard wrote many wonderful pieces of original verse, but this was not among them. Instead, he was the first person to write down a much older Scottish folk song. In 1788 he sent a copy of the song to his friend, Mrs Agnes Dunlop, exclaiming: "There is more of the fire of native genius in it than in half a dozen of modern English Bacchanalians!" Five years later he sent it to James Johnson, who was compiling a book of old Scottish songs, The Scottish Musical Museum, with an explanation: "The following song, an old song, of the olden times, and which has never been in print, nor even in manuscript until I took it down from an old man." (Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/what-to-listen-to/auld-lang-syne-new-years-eve-song-facts/)
So what’s the point of this bit of trivia?
Friendships! That’s the point and as the song says, old friendships though I’d like to throw in the new ones as well.
As we begin to pack away Christmas and look forward to a new year with new resolutions (more on that in our next post), we can also take some time to reflect on old friendships and the people who have been there for us in 2016. My list is particularly long this year and includes many of you who are reading this post so thank you!
I also love this characteristic of our Arlington Woods Church family – that close sense of community where the treasure of old (and new) friendships is so evident. Few things in this life are more precious than friends!
Some of our friends go way back to childhood; some came through circumstances in which we found ourselves. Others came about through the people who live on our streets for years or ones who moved more recently. Some friends have walked with us through difficulties and life tragedies and understand our heart; what inspires us, what brings us to tears, what makes us laugh out loud. LOL!
All this talk about friendship makes me think of an exceptional friendship that existed in the Bible – that of David and Jonathan’s. I’ve always been fascinated by their closeness and particularly Jonathan’s loyalty to David. Consider reading the story again paying special attention to the bond that existed between these two men (1 Samuel 18:1-5, 2 Samuel 1:17-27). At least, read these two verses as they describe the depth of this relationship as a love so “extraordinary” - 1 Samuel 18:1, 2 Samuel 1:26.
As we say goodbye to 2016 and welcome 2017, let us not forget our “old acquaintances” especially those who have helped/help us see life in its purest form knowing that every good and perfect gift comes from God Himself. (James 1:17)
Won’t you take a minute to make a phone call and schedule a coffee, or lunch date, or have someone over for tea and biscuits (or whatever). Send a card, or flowers, or write a note or better yet, an old-fashioned letter (people still love receiving those). If it’s easier, send an email. Don’t delay letting someone know what they mean to you, how much they’ve impacted / are impacting your life.
Happy New Year! Enjoy this lovely rendition of the “Auld Lang Syne” tune to the words of a song called “All Glory Be to Christ”.
Yolande Knight – firstname.lastname@example.org