Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Time to Celebrate!
A birthday. An excellent time for celebrating. And this wasn't just any occasion, it was our Golden Retriever's fifth birthday. Yes, we actually celebrate our dogs' birthdays! This year we donned our party hats, (the dogs joining right in!) sang Happy Birthday, and spoiled both retrievers with a hot dog and hamburger grilled to perfection.
A romp in the front yard, affectionately referred to as the 'green space,' followed by a long walk, rounded out the birthday festivities. The perfect party, complete with pictures to enjoy for years to come.
I'm glad the Lord gives us lots of reasons to celebrate. Have you ever noticed the many feast days and celebrations included in the Old Testament? Believe it or not, there were 19 days that were observed by the Israelites as holidays. The Lord Himself implementing every one of them.
If you take a closer look, seven feasts were celebrated at various times, totaling 19 days. The feasts were times of worship that included both confession and celebration. I like the way my study Bible describes these holidays, "...in Israel's national holidays, the balance seems heavily tipped in favor of celebration - five joyous occasions to two solemn occasions. The God of the Bible encourages joy! God does not intend for religion to be only meditation and introspection. He also wants us to celebrate. Serious reflection and immediate confession of sin is essential, of course. But this should be balanced by celebrating who God is and what he has done for his people," (Life Application Study Bible, KJV, Tyndale, italics mine).
Today we have the privilege of celebrating some national holidays as well; Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. Holidays that give us the opportunity to focus on the greatness of our God and His amazing provision. Christmas heralds the miraculous birth of Jesus, fully God and fully man. We celebrate His life's purpose at Easter when we remember His death on the cross, His burial and resurrection. The perfect man who offered His life to pay our sin debt. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life," (John 3:16, KJV).
And then there are birthdays - a celebration of the precious life God gives. They're the icing on the cake in my opinion. Each day is a blessing from the Lord. An opportunity to live for Him while pointing others to Him. The Apostle Paul puts it like this, "Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you," (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Today is a good day to celebrate!
Is there joy in your life? Do you take time to celebrate who God is and what He's done for you? If not, take a step away from the mundane and re-focus on the wonders of the Lord!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for giving me a reason to celebrate. When I focus on all You are and all You've done for me, I've got every reason to rejoice. To You be the glory. In Jesus' name, Amen.