New Year’s Eve, along with weddings and most formal gatherings, is a time for toasts. Elegant words strung together, expressing out highest thoughts and fondest wishes. Usually the words are for another, occasionally for all present. I cannot recall ever having heard a toast for only the one speaking. I hope I never do; it would take the purpose out of the toast!

I wonder how toasts will change in the future. Will they become, on the whole, more humorous or witty? Will they be led by as many women as men? Will they be dominated by a particular refrain? Is their time past; in the future will we see less rather than more of these simple yet potential memorable moments?

A lot depends on how traditional the next generation remains. Each generation establishes a framework that is slightly different from the past – yet clearly a variation on it. I wonder how toasts will fit into the world ten or twenty years from now. My guess is that life in this area will remain much as it has for some time, with of course a few variations.

Toasts reflect the best that we want for each other. In many ways it captures our dreams for ourselves and passes them on. Nothing could be too good yet at the same time the words must say something that is relevant, poignant, and reflective of the friendship shared. All of which takes me to the toast I will raise to you tonight.

I wish for you and yours all the best that your dreams include and then some. Let your path be smooth. Let your eyes be clear of pain, confusion, and turmoil. Let you efforts always be true. Let your relationships grow ever vibrant. “And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating— to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes.” (Jude 1.24, 25)

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