Day 37: Celebration
Written By Martin Brown
Celebration is the core, the center, of all the Spiritual Disciplines—Richard Foster
Without the discipline of celebration, the others can lead to a sense of obligation and drudgery.
But for celebration to be genuine and meaningful, it must involve, or be focused on, something that is personal. I need to have some sort of vested interest in the person or the event that prompts this moment of celebration. We are all accustomed to seeing the celebrations of our favorite teams on TV. Parades, speeches, the adulation of adoring fans for the champions. We may even feel a part of the festivities because this is “our team” that won the big game or the series.
But it is impossible for us to feel the same sense of accomplishment and joy as the players and coaches who were actually responsible for the victory. We experience the victory vicariously and think we know the “real thing.” But that is just not possible. Nothing we observe can replace the joy and elation we feel when we have been right in the middle of the action.
It’s easy to celebrate on those special occasions we all enjoy: weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and our Christian holidays – Christmas, Easter and even Thanksgiving. Learning to celebrate the little things everyday takes a little more effort, and yes, discipline.
Nancy and I have been blessed for the last year to travel this great country of ours and see some of the most beautiful sights imaginable. From the Grand Canyon to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Glacier National Parks, each time we think it can’t be any more amazing, we are just blown away by the awesome diversity of our Creator’s hand. We are learning to celebrate not only the wonder of creation, but the new friends and acquaintances that God has blessed us with.
This Lenten season is a time for reflection, introspection and celebration. But ours is no vicarious celebration. Ours is the genuine excitement and joy of being right in the middle of the great event that we celebrate. The empty tomb was a victory far beyond anything the disciples could have imagined or hoped for. But this victory was not just a one time event. It had eternal meaning and everlasting results. There was no need to “wait ‘til next year.” Jesus’ victory over death, hell and the grave carries right into our everyday lives and culminates in a new heaven and new earth where righteousness will be the order of the day.
We celebrate because His victory is now ours, personally. A victory we can, and should, celebrate constantly, in every circumstance and situation.
Martin Brown is a retired pastor and general contractor.
He lives in Muncie with his wife Nancy. They have found a home at Commonway and are blessed to be a part of what God is doing here.