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Spiritual Discipline of Celebration

March 31, 2014

Theme: Celebration

Title: A Lifelong Celebration


  •          In Italian, the literal translation of “to give birth”— “dare alla luce”— is “to give to the light”. Life symbolizes the light of hope we all have, the optimism for a new beginning. We come from the darkness and enter into the light. And child birth is just one type of birth. You are born again when you get baptized. In recovery programs, your “birthday” is the first day you stopped using alcohol or drugs. All of these represents powerful transformations. In the case of child birth it means entering into the sunlight. In a recovery program it means re-entering into God’s purpose for your life. And in the case of baptism it means entering into the love of Jesus. There will not only be joy and happiness down the road; we celebrate the good and bad, and the change to experience it all.
  •          Celebrations typically are a double sided coin: if one team wins, the other loses. If we get a year older, it reminds us of our mortality. Many of the celebrations of the people of Israel are double-edged swords… Passover is great, unless you’re an Egyptian parent losing your firstborn. Even the celebration of marriage is not unambiguous; there is a lot of hardship in every marriage, and half of the marriages won’t last. As Christians, we have celebrations that have NO downside: the birth of Jesus Christ, His resurrection, and His promised return.
  •          Many celebrations have a limited shelf-life; the event is being celebrated briefly. After that, life returns to normal. Celebrating the love of Christ is not time-bound but is eternal. There are greeting cards for every occasion of life, but there is not a card that celebrates the continuum from our birth on earth to our ascend to heaven.
  •          In a worldly sense, a celebration is a feeling; you celebrate when you feel happy. Celebrating Christ is not tied to a feeling, it is a choice and a decision, and a constant awareness to the love of God.
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