This time of the year brings with it a string of holidays one right after the other. There’s Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, July 4th, and even National S’mores Day (which is a real thing that’s celebrated on August 10th every year. There’s nothing like roasting a marshmallow over a blazing fire during the scorching “dog days of summer.” LOL) Then there’s a variety of graduations & weddings on top of the ever-present birthdays and baby showers. Oh – and summer is here! Time to fire up the grill or head to the beach. These special occasions definitely bring cause to celebrate.
Sadly, in our performance-based, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately culture, we tend to keep moving through life at a break-neck pace without pausing to acknowledge what just happened before we move on to what’s next.
But make no mistake – we actually need to celebrate. If we didn’t need to celebrate, God wouldn’t have commanded His people to do so. I have learned through study and experience that when you do what God says you should do, not only is it good for your relationship with Him but there are always collateral benefits.
But before we get to those, let’s wrap our minds around the fact that God loves a good party. When I was growing up, my image of God was not necessarily that of a loving Father but a grumpy killjoy. “Hey, all you Christians down there. Are you having fun? Well, knock it off!!!” And while God indeed condemns debauchery and drunkenness and reckless behavior brought on by removing safeguarding inhibitions, He never discourages celebrating. In fact, He encourages it!
God commanded the Jewish people through the voice of Moses to celebrate. He said,
“The whole community of Israel must celebrate this Passover festival” (Exodus 12:47 NLT). “Each year you must celebrate three festivals in my honor” (Exodus 23:14 NLT).
God told the Jewish people through the prophet Nehemiah, “… Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” (Nehemiah 8:10 NLT).
Maybe you’re on the fence about celebrating. Before you just shake your head with a, “Nope!” please take a beat and consider these three things:
- When we pause to celebrate, we actually take time to meditate.
We think back on how far God has brought us and what He’s done for us and through us.
- When you engage in celebration, it’s a way of showing appreciation.
We demonstrate our joyful gratitude and recognize what it took to get here.
- When you honor an accomplishment or a significant event with celebration, it can add to your motivation.
We can view it as “So far. So good.” And add, “But wait! There’s more!” Or, “That was then, but this is now.” And even, “Let’s see what’s next!”
This month in June one of the things that we’re pausing to mediate on, appreciate, and gain motivation from is God’s gracious blessing on His church here at Bridgeway over the past 30 years. With thousands of churches closing their doors every single year, let’s be grateful for each year we’ve had together under the leadership of our Founding & Senior. Pastor, Dr. David Anderson.
As we venture into this season of “special days,” whether they are the result of hard work, historically-based remembrances, or even Hallmark holidays, let’s not just go through the motions or phone in our support. Let’s come out and sincerely celebrate the many blessings of God.
Celebrate! Good times. C’mon! (Are you singing with me?!)
Join us on June 12 at both of our campuses with a Party in the Parking Lot!
If you are feeling discouraged or need help or support, please contact Care.
If you are looking for activities where you can meet others, check out our Events.
If you are looking for people to do life with, connect with our Groups.