Celebrate in Judgment?|
Q. Given that our country is probably under judgment and so many are suffering hardship, do you think it's OK to celebrate and have fun once in awhile, too?
Good question - never thought about it.
We are Created in His Image
Remember that we are created in the image of God. Obviously, God intended for us to be like Him with a sense of humor, love for celebrations, enjoyment of sports, and a creative spirit with our writing crafts, television, movies, artwork, music and other forms of entertainment.
If you don't believe it, just observe our pets! Half the fun of owning pets is their incessant love for play. Dogs love to fetch things and wrestle. Cats love to play hide-and-seek, chase little dangling balls and show their mastery of the game.
Children also instinctively love to play. It is a joy to watch our children and grandchildren sing, dance, listen to stories, watch fun movies and play sports.
Songs of Joy
Zephaniah 3:17 says,
"The Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with
With his love, he will calm all
He will rejoice over you with
Have you ever thought that God could "rejoice" over us with songs of joy? Have you ever considered that we make him laugh and that He enjoys our company?
His First Miracle
The Bible is filled with descriptions of all kinds of fun ceremonies, feasts and music. In fact, just think of it - Jesus' first miracle was to turn water into wine at a joyous wedding feast.
Nehemiah 8:10 describes one such celebratory occasion:
"Go and celebrate with a feast…and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day…Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength! (NLT).
Not out-of-control Drunkeness or Feasting
Of course, there are also some descriptions of joyous occasions that got out of control. God expresses His clear disapproval of these.
"Moses saw that Aaron had let the people get completely out of control, much to the amusement of their enemies" (Exodus 32:25).
This occasion was when the people demanded an idol and Aaron told Moses he threw gold into the fire and "out came this calf" (Exodus 32:24). That was inexcusable.
Another verse warns, "You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy - their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols" (1 Peter 4:3, NLT).
It is not enjoyable feasting or drinking that is the problem. It is when the line is crossed and people indulge in gluttony, drunkenness and idolatry.
A Love for Story-Telling, Music, Dance&Feasts
However, God made us creative spirits who react emotionally to good story telling, joyful music and instruments accompanied by songs, dancing, and good foods and wines. Used appropriately, our sense of fun and creative activities should be enjoyed as gifts from God.
"Let us be glad and rejoice…For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb" (Revelation 19:7).
Joyous Celebrations in the New Jerusalem
We will certainly be joyful and full of songs in the New Jerusalem.
"But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven…" (Hebrews 12:22-23, ESV).
Besides, as Christians we can celebrate and be filled with joy even now because we are assured that no matter what, "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them" (Romans 8:28, NLT).
So, yes, we can: "Rejoice in the Lord always - again I will say, rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4, NASB).