Birthday Celebrations. Anniversary Celebrations. Graduation Celebrations. Life Celebrations. Why pause to celebrate? We discussed this topic a few weeks ago during one of our regional Zoom gatherings. Celebration/Arts is one of the seven spheres we have been batting around, pondering what it really looks like to model impact for our students looking to the seven spheres of influence. What can we learn from scripture, other cultures, and one another as we seek to better align ourselves with God’s Kingdom perspective?
Interestingly, we observed, that though Americans are pretty good at creating and consuming entertainment, when it comes to celebrations…we, as believers, could do better. Many cultures spend a whole week or more celebrating a marriage. Many African cultures are known to grieve corporately for weeks over the death of a loved one. While Americans may do more to honor someone’s birth, other parties and celebrations can seem stifled.
For most of us, the pandemic has served to isolate us in various ways. Having more “alone” time has alerted me to the fact that without a public worship gathering, I don’t intentionally take the time to extravagantly give God praise or tell stories of thanks. Stories, parties, and meals all take time. Whether your mother is living, and Mother’s Day was a chance to spend time with her or talk with her, or whether you are grieving her loss and remembering specific ways that she lived and loved, these are all times well spent—stories that can give God glory.
Here are some thoughts on “biblical celebrating”:
- Give thanks to God our Creator. (Ps 95:6)
- Life itself is a gift. Celebrate each day. (Ps 118:24)
- Have joy. God has given humans a soul. We can choose joy. (Acts 14:17; Ps 16:11)
- Relationships matter. People are more important than “stuff,” and even extravagant meals. We celebrate events, but mostly we are celebrating the people.
- Food! Yes! Food! (Lk 15:23, 32; Jn 21:12-13)
- Life starts with rejoicing (Lk 15:7) and ends with rejoicing (Rev 7:9-17).
What are we waiting for?