Reaching for the silly lunch box stored high on a shelf in my pantry, my minded flooded with happy thoughts. A gift from my last birthday, it reminded me of the importance of celebration.
For folks like me, a bunch of balloons and noise makers, coupled with streamers and cupcakes, really make our hormones bubble! Birthdays and anniversaries, holidays and holy days, give us great excuses to PARTY. And why not? Jesus told us that He came to give us abundant life (John 10:10); and when we think of all He has done in our lives, our spirits want to celebrate.
Over the centuries, however, Christians have gotten a bad rap. Often seen as legalistic, dour and sour, believers have often been categorized as party-poopers. Though we are called to avoid excess, and reject practices that don’t glorify God, there is much we celebrate and numerous fun ways to do it. Godly celebration is all about thanksgiving, people and joy. As humans we are created to experience deep joy and contentment. Knowing our Creator God, and expressing worship to His Name, releases joy that is difficult to describe. The Old Testament prophet Nehemiah proclaimed “the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10).
Yet many days are filled with trouble and challenge, making celebration all the more necessary. A new baby, a new job, graduations, and an Eagle Scout Court of Honor are all worthy of festivities marking the events. I thank God that He made us to be a celebratory people who find joy in singing and dancing. When we are grateful for His blessings, our joy grows exponentially; and memories of past celebrations relieve stress and bring smiles.
Last July I was blessed by forty folks who gathered to celebrate my birthday. It was an unusual celebration for a middle-aged woman to say the least…my party centered around the Minion characters of the “Despicable Me” movies. I’m sure some friends feared I’d gone off the deep end, while others joined neck-deep in the frivolity. A sweet neighbor made minion cupcakes, another friend helped decorate, a few came in costume, and all had a grand time! There were coloring pages for the young-at-heart, a photo shoot space, balloons and prizes…my kind of party. The presents I received were all wonderful, and my friends’ presence even more so. My college roommate, a precious gal I met forty years ago, made an appearance by flying down from New York to join the festivities. Truly my heart brimmed with contentment as I testified to God’s goodness in my life in front of such caring folks.
Yes, this grandma has a Minion lunch box and a love for celebration. How about you?