Good morning my brothers and sisters. It is so good to be in the land of the living. There have been so many deaths recently, but there is still so much to celebrate.
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When I woke up this morning, I thought about all the things we have been able to celebrate even in the midst of a pandemic. We have not permitted COVID-19 to paralyze our actions totally. May I suggest we celebrate, but at the same time do it in a safe manner. We do not have to be in the presence of loved ones physically to have a joyful time. I began to rejoice this morning as I reflected on family and friends who recently celebrated weddings, birthdays, newborn babies, job promotions, purchase of new homes, new relationships, graduations, passing exams, overcoming the coronavirus, relocations, baptisms, new toys and gadgets, transitions, new beginnings, traveling, reunions, anniversaries, Holy Communion, worship, etc. Even a virtual birthday party can be a wonderful celebration. Just the other night a friend’s grandchildren had invited family and friends to join them as they celebrated their grandmother’s eighty first birthday. I must admit it was filled with lots of laughter and fun. My point today is simply to admonish all of us to find something of significance in our lives to rejoice and celebrate.
If you feel like you are in a rut every now and then, start now planning some type of celebration for yourself. If you are at home everyday with children around you or just you and your spouse, you probably need a break. Plan a short trip, even if it is with you and you alone. Remember, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Find something to celebrate today that will satisfy you personally.
There is a pastor who is known for saying at funerals, “We have come to celebrate, yes celebrate the life of the deceased.” I understand what she means, but I find it little annoying, simply because I want to celebrate my life while I am still living on this side. Yes, there is going to be a greater celebration in heaven, but why not smell the flowers now also.
If you are looking for something to celebrate today, try acknowledging the gift of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, cousins, etc. God has blessed us to have families that love and care about us. Why not celebrate family today? “Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers.” Proverbs 17:6
Monday, January 17, 2022 is a federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s. birthday. The Civil Rights Movement is worth our attention and time of celebration. Start planning now how you will spend that day as a special day. Give attention to all of the holidays in 2022 now and focus on something of importance to you.
Yes, it is clear from Scripture that celebration is a spiritual discipline that God desires for us to practice. God wants us to have life and life more abundantly. Why live a dry, boring and dull life when we do not have to? The abundant life includes celebrations.
May we observe the Lord’s day, Sunday, as a day of celebration? In an effort to ensure that worship does not become mundane, let’s throw in some devotional times periodically. Romans 12: 15-16 tells us, “Celebrate with those who are celebrating, mourn with the mourners. Come to the same mind with one another. Don’t give yourselves airs, but associate with the humble. Don’t get too clever for yourselves.”
Here is a suggestion for you today. Raise your hand above your head and count to ten. If you were successful, make a cup of coffee or tea, light a candle and celebrate life. It is good to just be in the land of the living. Celebrating simple things that can and will keep us from becoming lonely and sad. Try it!
We see in scripture that Jesus celebrated the Passover as a child. As an adult, He celebrated the day with his disciples. “Then came the Day of Unleavened Bread when the Passover must be killed. And He sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat.” Luke 22:7-8
The verses above describe Jesus’ last Passover meal that we call His Last Supper.
Sometimes we are celebrating and not even realizing it is a celebration. Celebrate my sisters and brothers, for life is too short.
Not a sermon, just my thoughts!
Robert Earl Slade, Pastor