Another year is over. Another year in which we have experienced the goodness and faithfulness of God. We have been preserved, blessed and even enriched in so many ways. This is indeed reason to stop, to gather everyone and celebrate. It’s a time to set up a memorial stone and exclaim with Samuel “Thus far the Lord has helped us!” (1 Samuel 7:12).
Celebration is a time of rejoicing – a time to look at the good and cherish it. It is a time where we celebrate and exult. A time of laughter, music and dancing, a time for relaxing as we deliberately free ourselves of cares and work. It is a time for joyful recreation and playful interaction. It is a time away from the ordinary and mundane routine of working and earning so that we can have a time of resting with the intent of restoring and recharging. It is a time to “wait on the Lord [to] renew your strength” (Isaiah 40:31).
Celebration is a time of reflection – a time to look in the mirror and with honesty consider the person you have become. It’s a time to take stock of your life as you consider how you have grown or how you have waned. In moments like these we review the stewardship of what have been entrusted to us (opportunities, relationships, time and resources) in the light of eternal perspective. This gives opportunity to reprioritize your time and resources in respect to God the Judge of all (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).
Celebration is a time to remember where you have come from, where you have been and where you are heading. It’s a time to look back cherish your legacy, and look ahead to embrace your destiny anew. It’s a time where you look back on the road of life with thankfulness and a time to remember the lessons you have learned. It’s a time to relive the faithfulness of God in being Emanuel, God with us. This leads to a time of and realigning the path of your life as you follow the Lord your the Shepherd (Psalm 23:1-4).
Celebration is a time for relating – a time to look around you and enjoy the fact that you are not alone in this journey of life. It’s a time where your identity is not found in your work, your failure or your success, but in your belonging. You are accepted for being you, celebrated as a gift from God. This leads to a time of reconnecting hearts around the table of God our Father (Ephesians 3:14-17).
Celebration is a time for recognition – where we look at the people around us with gratitude and humble regard for their contributions and efforts. A time we “give honor to whom it is due” (Romans 12:7). It is a time where we reaffirm the value and relationships of those among which the Lord has placed us.
Celebration is a time for reverence – a time to look up and render yourself in worship to God as the source of all goodness and necessary grace. It’s also a time of yielding yourself in serving the God who created you for his pleasure. A time where you resign yourself to the purpose, position and path that God has assigned for you; “this is your reasonable service to God” (Romans 12:1-2).
So do as our Biblical example encourage us – regardless of our circumstances or emotions – lets’s celebrate! Invite your family, friends and neighbors, saying “Rejoice with me!” (Luke 15:6,9) Gather, feast with music and food and dancing and the exchanging of gifts as we celebrate and display the goodness and faithfulness of God our Savior. So let us rejoice and be glad – this is the season of celebration! (Refer Psalm 118:24; Revelations 19:7; 1 Chronicles 16:1-3; Esther 9:16-19; Nehemiah 8:9-12).