Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Cultures differ on what they celebrate. When we moved to the States from Canada over 25 years ago, we were surprised by all the partying going on. Canadians may close shop to watch the Grey Cup or Hockey Night in Canada, but everything felt like a celebration here.
Mind you, my mom made a big deal of birthdays and Christmas, so I copied her when I got married. However, I quickly noticed that my husband's family celebrated birthdays with a homemade cake and quiet conversation around the dinner table. Christmas was not an over-the-top event. I toned my expectations down for birthdays and Christmas at the in-law's.
I asked if they wanted high school grad parties. We agreed to celebrate when they got done with college. (Actually three didn't finish high school and one was ambivalent since she was ill.) And when the time came for college grad, they wandered over to friends' parties. They ended up being more Kowalski than Daher. At home, I cooked a celebratory family dinner. They got a few gifts along with congratulations from grandparents, aunts and uncles, and siblings.
I notice that in Scripture, celebrations centered on God's work and His presence. I wonder what we've lost by making life all about us. By honoring peers' accomplishments more than the wonders and benefits of knowing the Most High.
*God is with you in all that you do. Genesis 21:22
*Then Solomon and all Israel celebrated the Festival of Shelters in the presence of the LORD our God. A large congregation had gathered from as far away as Lebo-hamath in the north and the Brook of Egypt in the south. The celebration went on for fourteen days in all—seven days for the dedication of the altar and seven days for the Festival of Shelters. After the festival was over, Solomon sent the people home. They blessed the king and went to their homes joyful and glad because the LORD had been good to his servant David and to his people Israel. 1 Kings 8:65–66
*Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.” With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.” Isaiah 12:2-6 NIV
*The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 1 Thessalonians 5:28
Moravian Prayer: Loving God, forgive us when we seek to take control forgetting that you are our Creator and Father. You watch over us and shower us with your grace through the blood of Jesus. Thank you for your faithful promises. Amen.