This past week was full of celebrations that I was either a witness to, or participated in. Celebration of a Memorial Holiday, celebration of a new marriage, celebrations of anniversaries, celebration of a life well lived, celebrations of graduating high school, and a celebration of the beginning of camp season. To be honest, I’m exhausted…but it’s a good tired. There were so many smiles this past Saturday at the wedding I officiated for Nick and Lindsey (Stone) Salem. So much joy at the beginning of a life long commitment, so much happiness.
We also had a couple at the church this weekend that was celebrating 60 years of marriage! Way to go Adam and Janet Wireman! You are an inspiration!
We celebrated Sunday afternoon at Hanging Rock Christian Camp where we participated in Celebrate Good Times – the camp’s annual Summer Kick Off Event. Saw so many friends as 30 churches gathered together to welcome in the camp season.
There was another celebration of sorts that I participated in this last week as well… a celebration of life. We said “see you later” to Sandy Maas at her Celebration of Life service last Thursday, along with an internment service this morning. While Bob and the rest of the family and those of us who called Sandy friend are still shocked and grieving her loss… we also celebrate because we know that Sandy is resting with the Lord. We celebrate because she lived life to it’s fullest, and finished her race well.
It is important to celebrate. The word celebrate shows up in scriptures sixty-eight times. All through the Old Testament God’s people celebrated. Usually they were festivals that honored God or remembered God for what he had done. Jesus even celebrated – he performed his first miracle at a wedding celebration, and he celebrated all the traditional Jewish feast and festivals, including Passover. Jesus also taught a parable that talked about a celebration that took place when a lost son returned home; a picture of how God and all of heaven celebrates when a lost person is found and redeemed by Jesus Christ!
Celebrations happen for three reasons…
- To honor God’s involvement and provision: The Feast of Tabernacles, the Festival of the Harvest (Weeks), The Festival of the Unleavened Bread, and Passover were all celebrations of what God had provided Israel.
- To mark special occasions and remember: The Lord’s Supper is a weekly celebration to remember what Jesus did on the cross. We have several holidays and other special days that we still observe events that happened, and we celebrate and remember.
- To encourage each other and build each other up: Celebration is something that goes up to honor God, but it is also something we do that goes laterally as well…from person to person that causes us to feel the power of the Holy Spirit connecting us together. Celebration of personal and corporate victories, baptisms, weddings, Celebration of Life Services, Christmas, Easter, and the list can go on and on…we need to celebrate regularly when God moves us as a church. We need to recognize what he has done…but we also must celebrate together to build up the spirit of unity and love. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 5:11…“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Brady Lane Church – we are going to be a church that celebrates God…we are going to celebrate our victories in Him, we are going to celebrate to remember and we are going to celebrate to build each other up and encourage each other! I look forward to celebrating with all of you!