Cause for Celebration

3 comments Written on September 23rd, 2011     
Filed under: Culture, Local Church, Missional, Theology
Celebrate!Today’s post is written by Chris Logan, Worship Pastor at Community Covenant Church in Lenexa, KS.

The occasion of several birthdays in our worship arts family this week got me thinking about the importance of celebration. Throughout the scriptures, celebration plays a key role in the life of the Hebrews; Joseph threw his brothers a party, David danced, Ezra read from the scriptures to a multitude with rapt attention, Isaiah saw the angels singing “Holy Holy Holy,” Jesus and the disciples ate together on many occasions. But we’re left with a picture at the end of the second testament that outdoes them all; a new city descending to a new earth, gleaming and brilliant with light, and a spotless bride dressed to match her husband. A wedding, and a banquet. A dawn breaking. A brand new beginning. And then the passage abruptly ends; we don’t get to keep reading the next adventure …

… it leaves us to wonder what’s next.

There is anticipation in celebration. To celebrate is not simply to remember the things of the past with fondness – though this too has its place. But in the scriptures, the final celebration is an anticipation of what is to come, with joy looking towards that which is new, that which is vibrant, that which is better than what came before.

The Breaking DawnIn these trying economic/environmental/political times, it seems like celebrations become few and far between. Nothing seems worth celebrating because we are anxious about the next disaster that lurks just around the corner. But imagine if we approached our ministries with the anticipation of celebrating that which is coming, the good that God is going to be doing in the world around us rather than simply remembering how it used to be great! Though the joints are feeling a little creaky, the eyesight is starting to fog up (presbyopia starts around 40, just sayin’), the muscles ache more than they used to … what if that was merely a precursor to “yeah, but just wait till you see how much this year is going to bring!” Like the birthdays of our friends and colleagues, let’s not just celebrate the lives well lived in our churches, but let’s celebrate the new, let’s celebrate the goodness of what’s to come!

And so to those of you who have just had birthdays, congratulations on being born! We pray that you find new opportunities in this coming year, that your celebration includes and embraces the unknown blessings (and the ones in disguise) of the years to come. And to our churches, may we learn to celebrate the goodness of God regularly, with abandon and with passion, that God can do through us great things for our communities and for our world!

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Question: how do you celebrate the good things of the past and anticipate the good things of the future in your congregation?

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3 comments “Cause for Celebration”

Great post Chris! Here, go through doing well celebrating each other, our teams, staff & other times of just cranking out ministry that we lose that piece a bit. I agree, it’s so important. We’re walking through “transition” right now & I have a renewed desire to celebrate those that I love & who are devoted, passionate, loyal team players. We’re saying goodbyes to some staff & we’re getting the next season’s team excited for the future. Celebrations of past & future!

Thanks for the reminders! 

Thanks for the reminder to celebrate, Chris! Celebration is certainly a vital aspect of worship. Sundays after all are meant to be weekly celebrations of the resurrection. I think sometimes we forget that!

Your mentioning of the great final celebration in the book of Revelation reminds me of an important celebration opportunity that is coming up this weekend: World Communion Sunday. It’s always a good thing to recognize that we in our individual churches are part of a huge, diverse throng of believers from numerous people groups throughout history–all of whom have in common the same redemption through Christ’s broken body and shed blood. One day we will all be together worshiping God around his throne. That gives us even more reason to celebrate now!

What a great reminder, thanks Randall – we celebrate communion on the first week of the month anyway, so I’ll tell our associate pastor.  He’s very globally-minded, I imagine it’ll fit well for what he’s preaching on (as our senior pastor is in South Africa on a mission trip) … so many good fits here …


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