Brothers, Compatriots and Friends
It is a custom throughout our culture to wish everyone a “Happy New Year” on January 1st each year. While I am one who embraces the phrase and passes it along, I am reminded of what my Jewish friends say during Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). The common greeting at this time is L’shanah tovah (“for a good year”). This is a shortening of “L’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem” which means “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year,” or in other words, may your name be written in God’s book of life.
To the Jewish people, New Year is the beginning of some of the most Holy days of the year; for other cultures it seems merely a time to revel, party, watch football games and celebrate making it to another year. While there is certainly nothing wrong with celebrating in the latter manner, perhaps it is wise to also reflect upon the more religious or sacred symbol of the New Year.
In the last 35 days of 2013, we have celebrated traditional Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas which continues 12 days from December 25th through January 6th on the Christian calendar. January 6th culminates the celebration of the birth of Christ and begins the period of Epiphany or the “sudden appearance of deity” when the three Kings came to visit the baby Jesus.
Now, with all of that said, and whether you consider New Year a sacred day or simply another secular day on the calendar, from me and my family to you and yours, I wish each of you a “Blessed New Year” filled with the Peace of Christ, the Joy He brings to all who love Him, and a renewed Hope that will bring us closer to fulfilling the “mission” of the Sons of Confederate Veterans in 2014.
Mark A. Simpson, Commander
South Carolina Division
Sons of Confederate Veterans