Our family has celebrated an adoption day a birthday and a wedding anniversary in the past few weeks. Celebrations are great because sometimes people buy you presents, sometimes you get to eat cake and life generally feels good when we celebrate. When there is a celebration we make an effort, my wife and I went on a lovely date on our anniversary which included a meal and a walk.
If a child has a good school report, exam result or they do well at sports day you would celebrate in some way. When someone gets a new job or a friend achieves something we congratulate and celebrate with them.
Celebrations are a part of life, but do you ever feel like everyone is celebrating except you? Perhaps you haven’t had a birthday, wedding anniversary or other special occasion recently. Perhaps any children you have aren’t angelic and didn’t get good school reports or perhaps they hid on sports day and didn’t want to take part. Sometimes it can feel like everyone else is celebrating except us.
Have we stopped being grateful for what we have? Why can’t we celebrate just being alive or simply be thankful for our health? Many Christians say grace before a meal as a prayer
that we wouldn’t get food poisoning thanking God for the meal. Grace should be a celebration, especially in a world where many people go hungry, but perhaps for some of us it has just become an empty ritual with words we just say because that is what we do?
Why not pause and consider your life today. What do you have to be thankful for? Make a list and instead of dwelling on what you don’t have, think about what you do have.
It’s great to be more thankful for what we have but is that enough? For Christians we have so much to celebrate, I love these lyrics from Rend Collective’s song ‘Boldly I approach’:
This is the art of celebration
Knowing we’re free from condemnation
Oh praise the One, praise the One
Who made an end to all my sin
Our sin separates us from a holy God but the good news is that Jesus died to make an end to all our sin. If we turn to God and call on him to forgive us then we can know Jesus now and forever as our Lord and saviour. Dwelling on this and thanking God for Jesus and his sacrifice for us really is the art of celebration because, what better thing is there in life? This is God’s promise to those who have turned to him:
‘Now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to him through the blood of Christ’ (Ephesians 2.13).
Once we were far from God and we couldn’t get to him :(. Instead of turning his back on us God sent his son Jesus to show us who he is and to open the way for us to get to him. The death of Jesus saves us and it really is worth celebrating because we don’t deserve such a generous and loving act.
Today if you are going to church, don’t just sing the songs and smile a bit. Let’s learn the art of celebration as we praise the one who made an end to all our sin. May we make an effort in our worship in church and in the way we live each day as we celebrate all that Jesus has done and is doing for us.
You can listen to the song boldly I approach in this video.