We must choose revival
By Joshua B. Carson
“Remember ye, not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
The commemoration of the new headquarters of The New York Times was coupled with the first-ever celebration of New Year’s Eve in Times Square; the year was 1904. Alfred Ochs had successfully lobbied the city to rename Long Acre Square in honor of his famous publication. Times Tower was an impressive sight, shooting upward on a tiny land triangle at 7th Avenue, Broadway, and 42nd Street. Ochs spent extravagantly, ensuring a party for the ages. There was an all-day street festival, and that night fireworks exploded from the tower. While the outside was a flurry of activities, the building focused on the unprecedented New Year’s Eve celebration. At midnight the joyful sound of cheering, rattles, and noisemakers from the more than 200,000 attendees could be heard miles away. Now, with the help of satellite technology, a worldwide audience estimated at over one billion people tune in for the Times Square ball-lowering ceremony each year. Times Square’s lowering of the ball has become the world’s symbolic welcome to the New Year. Between then and now, the crowd has grown to an estimated 2,000,000 attendees packed into the area and approximately a billion people tuning in online.
However, December 31, 2020, will not allow a gathering of the masses for the first time in 114 years due to the COVID pandemic. Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance, said, “One thing that will never change is the ticking of time and the arrival of a New Year at midnight on the year’s last day.” Regardless of the unique season in which our world finds itself, time will not stop moving us forward toward eternity.
Dear Believer, let us remember that God’s ability in 2021 will remain unshakable. God’s unwavering goodness and our resolute duty must not be predicated upon the opinions of men, changes in world philosophy, or even concern over a global pandemic. Before us is the potential of fresh harvest and city-reaching restoration. Rather than focusing on the negativity of the media-saturated world, let us remember that God can still “make a way in the wilderness and bring rivers in the desert.” While the masses may not gather until restrictions lift, those masses still exist and represent souls. Our commission as the Church remains despite restrictions, and we must choose revival in 2021.