Posted: 23 Jun 2011 04:55 AM PDT
I had this thought about two weeks ago while watching the NBA finals…
Dirk hit a three pointer in the third quarter of one particular game (in Dallas) and the crowd absolutely lost their minds! Nearly everyone in the view of the camera stood to their feet and raised both arms in the air and screamed.
It was just a three pointer…
It wasn’t the game winner…heck, if I am remembering correctly they were only winning by about two points after he hit it…and yet the crowd celebrated (I would actually describe it as a form of worship) like somehow Dirk had just saved their lives.
Now…please understand, I have NO problems with people getting emotional at a sporting event and celebrating a victory or a great play by their favorite team.
However, in the world that we live in today it seems perfectly normal for people to celebrate the performance of their favorite sports team (or even their preferred stock)…and yet when a church wants to celebrate all that God is doing they are, many times, looked down upon and spoken against…but other people IN THE CHURCH!
However, as we look at the Scriptures…God is a God who celebrates His goodness and His blessings and He commands His people to do the same. In Luke 15 (go ahead, read it) every single time the lost item was found there was a PARTY, a celebration…and Jesus Himself used these parables to teach us that the angels in heaven celebrate and rejoice every single time a sinner repents of his/her ways (see Luke 15:7, Luke 15:10!)
(One of the marks of a maturing believer is that we can celebrate what God celebrates…in other words, what is important to Him becomes important to us.)
In the OT God commands that His people have festivals (parties) to CELEBRATE His goodness.
In the NT we see just a small glimpse of heaven…and the picture is of a CELEBRATION!
So, pastor, church leaders…when God does something in/through your church…CELEBRATE, go ahead, BOAST in WHO GOD IS and WHAT GOD HAS DONE! Brag on HIS GREATNESS…celebrate…and don’t worry how you will be perceived!!!! (After all, the only people who were not happy about Dirk hitting the three point shot were the people who were pulling for the other team!!!)
When God saves someone in your church…CELEBRATE!!!
When God saves someone in your youth/children’s ministry…CELEBRATE!!!
When God moves in an incredible way in your church services…CELEBRATE!!!
When God leads people to repent of their sin and get things right with Him…CELEBRATE!!!
We should NOT allow the Dallas Mavericks (or any other sports franchise) set the bar on what a celebration should look like!!! They won an NBA championship (which will not matter in about October of this year)…we have AN EMPTY TOMB and the PROMISE of a RETURNING MESSIAH!!!
Boast in the Lord…boast in what HE HAS DONE!!!
It’s OK to celebrate…the world needs to know that we have a God who is at work doing amazing things! We are not called to keep His work concealed but rather to PROCLAIM and CELEBRATE IT!
(One more quick thought…what you celebrate displays what you value!!! I have seen Christian musicians and authors actually take shots at churches that celebrate what God is doing…and yet they celebrate their song downloads and book sales!!! I’m not saying they should NOT celebrate those things…but what I am saying is that as the Body of Christ we should spend WAY more time celebrating WHO GOD IS and WHAT GOD is doing rather that criticizing the party music, the part decorations and the excitement level at the party! If God is doing it…then let’s celebrate it!!!)