Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Alpha of Celebration

UV 2963/10000 The Alpha of Celebration
It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found
Luke 15 v 32

The sacrifices under the Old Covenant are the foreshadow of the greatest sacrifice of Jesus on the cross that obviated the need for further sacrifices. The festivals of the Old Covenant like the Festival of Passover or of the Tabernacles are the foreshadow of the ongoing celebration in the life of the one who has been made alive spiritually by and in Christ Jesus. No further are we to clothe ourselves in ashes and sackcloth or mourn our dead past but live in the fullness and abundance of the life now provided to us by the grace and mercy of the Lord. In short, we are to be glad and celebrate like the father of the prodigal who had mourned his lost son for years but the moment he saw him return, he knew it was time to be glad and to celebrate again. To celebrate means to be glad internally for some reason, to share the joy with others, to manifest it in some physical way like singing, dancing, dining, laughing.

Jesus feasted often as per the record of the four gospels. He ended His earthly sojourn also appropriately with the Last Supper in the upper room with the disciples. We too are to celebrate the abundance of His love and mercy. We are to be glad in His presence every day of our lives hereafter. We are to offer praise and thanksgiving from our hearts to the Lord for so amazing a free gift as salvation or eternal life in Christ. We are to sing or hum along, if you like me are a poor singer, songs of praise. We are to invite guests to our homes and host dinners and meetings to celebrate the goodness of the Lord towards us. We are to share our blessings with others in terms of gifts to the poor, charity to the needy among us. We are to celebrate not just birthdays and anniversaries but every day, every happy occasion, every occasion we remember a great deliverance of the Lord as I remember how the Lord delivered me from two near death experiences. In so doing, we are setting up joyful milestones or fiestas or happy memorials all along our journey of life or what remains of it. We can set up our own personal or family festivals. The concept of a personal festival is that every day, we can ask ourselves- what do I want to celebrate today for the Lord? The Holy Spirit will give the answer- celebrate His wisdom, or celebrate His love, celebrate His grace towards you, celebrate His mercy, celebrate His peace, celebrate His gentleness, celebrate His faithfulness, celebrate His truthfulness.
As Christ has wiped every tear and removed every fear from our lives, we are to look on our new lives as a continual celebration. We are no longer to perceive life as either half full or half empty but to perceive that we are living in the overflow of His love, goodness and mercy. Every day we can find some new reason and way to celebrate a new mercy of the Lord towards us, a new sign of His goodness, a new experience or revelation of His grace. We are not to be bored and listless but full of gladness and everlasting joy. Our gladness is due to our current state of blessedness in the presence of the Lord while our everlasting joy is born out of our sure hope of eternal life in Christ.

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