I recently had a wonderful vacation with some friends. We went “glamping” in an RV and trailer to Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. And we had a great time. But when I got home, I slowly started sliding into a bit of a funk.
I had to cancel some other travel plans, my favorite restaurants closed again, church isn’t the same, some friends are throwing face masks to the wind, others are fearful to come out for an evening.
So, I have been having a serious chat with myself and have concluded that it’s time for some Bible oriented celebrations. Scripture has so much to teach us about the full spectrum of human activities, including the need to stop the mundane and CELEBRATE.
The people of the Bible celebrated as a way to mark an event and to remember God’s blessings. Jacob, Joshua and Samuel all noted an important event with a celebration. The Israelites routinely celebrated as they maintained the various feasts and festivals in their spiritual calendar.
Special events and victories were celebrated. When Zerubbabel’s restoration of the temple was completed, the people “celebrated with joy” (Ezra 6:13-22). In Nehemiah’s time, they dedicated the restored wall in Jerusalem with such a huge celebration that “the sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be hard far away” (Neh. 12:27-47).
And don’t forget that the first miracle Jesus performed was a wedding celebration! (John 2)
So, this week, let’s all start planning a celebration. Now I know we are still under serious constraints regarding contacting others. But surely, we can get creative and throw a party while caring for others.
First, let’s make sure we know what we are celebrating. Take some time to literally write down your blessings. Be thorough. Be comprehensive. Remember His goodness. Make notes. Then, let’s do some invitations. Perhaps our guests can be there in person, but be intentional about the invites. Who shall you include in this celebration? Who needs to know that God is good, all the time? Who needs to be reminded that “joy is the serious business of heaven?” (C.S. Lewis)
Who needs a brief recap of the faithfulness of our Savior?
And then, plan the “party.” Perhaps we need to include some personal reflection and maybe a moment or two of confession. Next on the agenda needs to be lots of thanksgiving. Let’s throw in some praise and worship. Let’s include some music and maybe some physical expressions like dance. Get into it. Show your appreciation for His gracious care of His kids.
And here’s the thing. I believe that when we throw this kind of party, commemorating His faithfulness, that reflection will bring perspective. It will help us “stay in the moment,” appreciate the past and set us up for the future. So, let’s celebrate!
I Peter 1:8 “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy!”