Practicing the Discipline? of Celebration

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Christians are supposed to be serious and dour all the time, right? Isn’t this what the Bible teaches us?

As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. (Mt 9:9-10)

Was Jesus hectoring and lecturing the guests at Matthew’s table or was He allowing His joy to infiltrate the gathering, making it a celebration?

When Jesus went to the wedding in Cana with Mary, did He take the jugs of cold water and dump them on the proceedings or did he genuinely celebrate the joyous event? The answer to both of these questions is yes, of course Jesus celebrated to the fullest. The Holiest man ever to tread the planet was no stranger to joy, happiness, and celebration despite the burdens that He carried. With this kind of joy in the head of the Church, shouldn’t the body be following?

Pleasure is not our enemy unless it becomes an end unto itself. We dishonor God by fearing and avoiding it when He has so clearly commanded it and demonstrated it in human form. Celebration is the completion of worship and can be an act of piety in its expression. Celebration is second nature when we have appropriately rooted our attitude by proper thinking:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Phil 4:8)

If your mind is centered on these things and grounded in the faith of the ultimate goodness of the Lord you won’t be able to resist celebrating. It will become your nature rather than a forced act. Joy will become your trademark.

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