In Your Celebrating

Of all people, Christians should be joyous. If ever there was something and someone to be ecstatic about in life, the salvation that Christ provides is cause for celebration.

Now-a-days, where is the Christian's true spirit of celebration in Christ? And not just because of His saving grace but because of what Christ has done, is doing and has promised to accomplish in their lives. I witness the enthusiasm, excitement and joy in human celebrations that Christians should be matching and exceeding in their own lives. 

Humanity excels at celebrating in wins within sports and even more-so celebrating great plays within a game itself. We celebrate holidays, whether government or religious in nature with great passion. We celebrate birthdays and goals we have met to great ends.

In addition, some believers have been desensitized to the miracle of sunrises and sunsets. Today, a miracle from God that eliminates a life-issue seems to be the only fostering of celebration of God in our lives. Some of us believers have forgotten God in our celebrating.

Did you realize that even though Jesus was portrayed as a serious Savior, one acquainted with grief - The Messiah was a party-goer? 
Isaiah 53:3 says, Jesus would be "despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain." Yet in addition to this description of Christ Jesus we can find celebration surrounding Him in many instances of His life.

Right off the bat, we can observe a celebratory atmosphere at the birth of Christ. An angel appears to declare the good news to shepherds near-by and then the excitement is so great, more of the angelic host split the night sky to sing and/or holler God’s Good News! Wise men show up bearing gifts. A star/angel stops overhead for a supernatural lightshow. The birth might have been humble, in a manger, but it did not go unnoticed by earth or Heaven – there was a party.

As a young adult, do you remember what Jesus’ first miracle was? He mastered the elements, because He is Master of the Elements and turned water into wine. Do you remember where He was? At a wedding party! And Jesus’ life would flow like that – invitations from one household to another – first a visit and party at Zacchaeus’s and the next He is at Peter’s establishment fellowshipping.

Talk about a party, imagine a small stadium of people showing up on a grassy hillside desiring to hear the awesome teaching of Jesus. When Jesus realizes 5,000+ people have probably missed a couple of meals to listen to Him He proceeds to create, probably the biggest Fish Fry the world has ever seen from just two fish and some bread. Everybody was fed with some left over! Great teaching. Great fellowship. Great food! What a party!

I love Jesus! He was and is about some food, family and fellowship! In Luke 22:15 Jesus says, “And he said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.’” This particular meal and fellowship time could be looked upon as a more somber gathering, but for what it symbolized to the disciples and us - our salvation – what a meeting!

Christ has even created emotions within angels so that at the repentance of one person, the angels throw a praise party. In Luke 15:7, 10 we can observe "Heaven" rejoicing in verse 7 and we see "angels" rejoicing in verse 10.

There is one more party that Jesus Himself is making preparations for that will trump all parties before it – The Heavenly Party. In John 14:2-3, Jesus promised, 

“There are many homes up there where my Father lives, and I am going to prepare them for your coming. When everything is ready, then I will come and get you, so that you can always be with me where I am. If this weren’t so, I would tell you plainly.” (Living Bible Translation) 

What a guarantee! And that is some kind of prep time! It has been 2,000+ years since Jesus said these words. I don’t know if I can imagine my dwelling place, but it sure is a joy trying. You add to this a Heavenly Banquet for the Bride of Christ, Jesus and His invited guests and once again you have a party! (Revelation 19:6-9) You have the best party yet. A Divine party with perfect food, perfect fellowship and perfect family relations. All this and an awesome future ahead with probably more celebrations because of knowing our Savior, Jesus, The Party God.

Our time here on earth before our move to Heaven is great practice for not only how to handle issues with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit as our guide but how to make sure we don't forget God and include Jesus in all celebrations.

The main Scripture in my mind to keep before believers concerning any celebratory material is found in James 1:17

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." 

And two handles I will attach to this verse to help in keeping this perspective alive - thanksgiving and praise.

Anytime Christians are blessed, be it a meal to a salvation within the family that has been prayed for, for many years - as the Psalmist instructs, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name." (Psalm 100:4) - bring God into the picture, include Him who is worthy in your Celebrating.