There are several spiritual disciplines that I find difficult. In my life it seems that few disciplines are as hard to accept and to act upon as our call to celebration. It may seem a hard thing to believe, but celebration is difficult for me as an individual.
It may seem strange that a person who enjoys science fiction and cooking would have difficulty with celebration, but at some point I was infected by the idea that celebration was a sign of pride, of arrogance, of “loving the world,” and a thousand other things that I should shun. I was in my thirties before I even began to consider the possibility that celebration was a discipline. I am still working on entering more wholeheartedly into the act of celebration.
It is odd that it took me so long to understand the concept that God calls us to celebration. How many psalms mention taking joy in God’s works or entering into worship with music and dance? Matthew 11:18 records how Jesus was accused of celebrating too much! God calls us to have gratitude for the blessings that God has given to us and to rejoice in God’s love! We are called to celebrate!
I am reminded of this fact in particular today as I celebrate the birth of my middle child Joy. Joy is a reason for celebration. For all the ups and downs of life, we are called to celebrate and she is indeed a reason for great celebration.
Perhaps there is wisdom in the celebration of Job. Job is not known as a celebratory kind of man, but consider the description of Job. Job 1:5 speaks of Job’s tendency to come to the Lord with gratitude for his children each time they celebrated feast days. His love and celebration brought him to a place of gratitude, a place where sacrifice was willingly given for his children’s sake, and to a place where his thoughts of children led to God. In a way, he celebrated them.
I give thanks for my Joy. May God bless her and help me to celebrate her uniqueness and wonder more often. Amen!