Celebrations are still happening. That’s a good thing. Even though they have to be staged with certain guidelines, we’re still finding ways to commemorate birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and other special events.
We celebrated Christmas and the New Year just a few weeks ago. Now we look forward to Valentine’s Day with its sweet treats and kind messages. Did you celebrate Groundhog Day? My wife and I have celebrated that day for 47 years.
I like to think we can commemorate every day the truth that Jesus came to earth. No doubt Mary and Joseph could recall all the events that occurred at the birth of Jesus: the angels, shepherds, wise men with their gifts and the story of the star. They probably relived it every time they celebrated his birthday.
The miracles he did were worthy of celebration. The new year that started for people who were healed of pain and sickness was no doubt celebrated by family and friends. Their new life was a constant reminder of the power of Jesus to make their lives better.
Did the ones raised from the dead celebrate the day they were resurrected every year as well as their birthday? It was certainly a day to look back on with wonder and thankfulness.
Easter is coming up quickly, only two months away. That’s another day we can celebrate all through the year. Different traditions have grown up around that day but to remember that Jesus Christ defeated death and the grave is worthy of celebration. The scriptures also relate the Resurrection to “newness of life.” Add to that the “abundant life” that Jesus promised and you see why we celebrate.
Celebrations were many in the years the disciples followed Jesus of Nazareth. They rejoiced being with Jesus Christ for 40 days after his resurrection. After he ascended up to heaven they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
When the Spirit of God came upon them as Jesus promised, more rejoicing erupted from the disciples, so much so that a large crowd gathered in amazement as they heard them speak in their languages, “the wonderful works of God.”
The other apostles stood with Peter as he proclaimed the word of God with specific directions for those who asked what they should do (Acts 2:38).
Signs and wonders continued in the Book of Acts. The message of salvation spread abroad. Lives were changed for the better. Why did persecution arise instead of jubilation? That didn’t stop the celebrations.
John was the longest living apostle from the original 12 of Jesus’ disciples. He was an anointed writer of Scripture. He wrote as the Spirit prompted him: his gospel, three letters, and finally the Revelation of Jesus Christ. In its pages, John described celebrations he saw taking place in the heavenly realm. They were loud and long. Some of the events he saw cause concern but the ending he wrote about is a grand celebration.
It also ends with an invitation: “whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” That is available to anyone now. It will lead to an eternal celebration. That’s a celebration you don’t want to miss.
Mitch Glover pastors the Sterling Pentecostal Church. Sunday Bible class at 10 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. are livestreamed on Facebook as well as Thursday Bible study at 7 p.m. Visit the services and sterlingpentecostalchurch.com.