May is a sneaky month. I find it to be as full as December, but without any signals from the consumer market that there’s important days ahead.
Take a glance at the month ahead of you. What important dates, or more importantly, what special people, could be cause for celebration this next month? Mother’s Day is May 11. Graduations from preschool (!) all the way through graduate school are forthcoming. Add in end-of-the-year concerts and banquets for school age students. Neighbors or co-workers may be changing jobs or moving. For those of us involved in a VantagePoint3 group, we are coming to the end of meaningful months together.
I’m curious how your spirit of celebration is in the midst of many good things? My hope is that you will follow through or take time this next month to celebrate the good friends, special people, accomplishments, and growth you see in others.
We celebrate what we delight in, what we appreciate and value. At its core, the church is a celebrating community. This usually looks like good food, good conversation, and careful noticing of others.
Celebration is at the heart of Jesus’ way of life.
Jesus celebrated even when there was much to be unhappy about. We face this same challenge. There are hurts and sorrow around us so it’s sometimes hard to celebrate. Yet the joy of fellowship also cultivates hope for tomorrow. For me it’s sometimes daunting to organize a celebration. If you fall into that category as well, let’s ask for help.
One of the larger obstacles to celebrating can be our crowded schedule. It’s not that way around the world.
We [North] American Christians tend to be so caught up in our schedules, our activities, our projects, and our efforts to preserve our place at the party that we have no time left over for what was one of the central obsessions of Jesus’ life—celebrating his relationships with other people. Our brothers and sisters in the Third World have much to teach us about how to put aside our quest for acquiring and possessing, and simply to relish the people around us. (Tom Sine)
I encourage you to spend time leisurely over a meal with others, to pick out an inexpensive gift or two that depicts what you notice and appreciate about another, or call out the growth God is doing in the life of a fellow traveler on the journey. Celebration is both a gift and a practice.
How’s your own celebrating muscle being exercised today? This month?
Are their things in your life that are getting in the way of this deep joy?