The Art Of Celebration
Posted by Kim Stanley, May 16, 2023
I love a good celebration! Besides family celebrations, personal celebrations, work, and church celebrations, there are many life events that give us a reason to celebrate. We celebrated the birth of our newest granddaughter two weeks ago. I have plenty of pictures on my phone to show you.
We, as believers in Christ, have the best reason to celebrate! God gave his people Israel feast days and festivals to celebrate His faithfulness. They knew how to throw a party! How much more, now that we are in Christ, should we celebrate and let the world see God’s glorious beauty in our enjoyment of Him?
What does the Bible say about our celebrations?
Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. (Acts 2:46-47) (Italics added)
We celebrate in worship!
When we come together in His Name, no matter the size of the group, it is a time to celebrate with praise, prayer, reading of Scripture, enjoying fellowship, and sharing in the Lord’s supper.
Christ is present in each believer through the Holy Spirit, and He inhabits the praises of his people (Psalm 22:3). We are ensured that He is in our midst as we worship him today. We get to enjoy His Presence with other believers.
Since Christ is the fulfillment of the Law, and we no longer abide by the sacrificial system, we can celebrate by living a lifestyle of worship, offering our bodies as a living sacrifice. (Rom. 12:2) Everything we do in His Name becomes an act of worship.
I love this quote from Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline:
Celebration is central to all the Spiritual Disciplines. Without a joyful spirit of festivity, the Disciplines become dull, death-breathing tools in the hands of modern Pharisees.
Amidst the noise and confusion and lies the enemy is heaving upon our world, we must rise up, declare God’s goodness, live in His abundant grace, gather together often, and yes, celebrate our God.
We celebrate our belonging to Him, the privilege of serving in His Kingdom, and that we have a place at the table - all because of Jesus.
Celebrate God’s Love for you
You are his precious and honored child. (Isaiah 43:4)
God not only loves you, He likes you too! He is not cross with you. He delights in you! (Zech. 3:17)
God’s love for you is greater than any human love. That may be hard to comprehend, and Paul prayed that we would be able to grasp this. (Ephesians 3:18-21)
We all need love to live. And the good news is “we know how dearly God loves us because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:5)
My husband Joe is a collector of coins and memorabilia. He says that an item’s value and price are determined based on what the buyer is willing to pay. Your value comes from what you are worth to God; God paid a huge price for you: His Son, Jesus.
Celebrate his love for you with a song, a dance, or a prayer of thanks.
Celebrate Repentance and Rest
One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 30:15:
In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust shall be your strength.
We can be just like the Israelites who left the Way and turned aside from the path. We can strive and attempt to manage our own sin and live by the flesh. But God is faithful to his covenant of grace. He is the Way Himself, and His Spirit in us will lead us all the way home. Our response to this is to repent and change our minds, thereby changing our direction in returning to Him. In those times, we can stop and fall back into the arms of Jesus. It can feel like jumping off a cliff, but our faith is in the One who has promised to catch us. Then we enter his rest. It will be in that quietness of our spirits and in entrusting all our cares to Him, that we will find our strength, our confidence, and our victory.
We have much to celebrate!
And the biggest celebration is yet to come as we wait with great anticipation for the wedding feast of the Lamb.
Let the dancing begin!
Kim Stanley is a worship leader, speaker, writer, and is the worship leader for Touching Hearts Ministries. She and her husband Joe have been in itinerant worship ministry for over 30 years. She is the founder and director of One Thing Worship, a retreat ministry for women that provides sacred time and space to be still and hear the voice of God. She also co-hosts a podcast called “A Burst Of Hope” with Martha Wilson. She and Joe have been married for 40 years; they have 4 grown children, one in heaven, and 6 grandchildren. They live in the south metro Atlanta area. You can connect with Kim on her website, www.joeandkimstanley.com, and on Facebook and Instagram @onethingworship.