Don't forget to celebrate, or the reason you're celebrating

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A few weeks ago my wife and I celebrated an anniversary that neither of us looks old enough to have.

Nothing elaborate, just a rare night out without children over a simple dinner that neither of us had to prepare accompanied by conversation. The phrase "We've been married how long? No really, that long?" came up a couple of times.

Anniversaries are of our own choosing. We choose what to commemorate as special, unique, the days not to be forgotten. Anniversaries remind us who we were, celebrating who we have chosen to become and remind us why we chose to become that.

The scriptures are filled with annual celebrations for the seasons of planting and harvesting, festivals and solemn assemblies. Gatherings of all the people of every status that honor the past and in great faith look to the future.

Often the people's story fell into two extremes of celebrations: when they stopped celebrating or when they forgot why they were celebrating.

For hundreds of years the people stopped celebrating the Feasts of Tabernacles. This annual feast held at the time of harvest served to remind the people of their history of wandering in the wilderness. It didn't serve to remind them just of that prolonged vacation but how the Lord provided for them. Annually it fell at harvest when all the years' labor was visualized before in the collection of food. Provision, sustaining, future and hope. But they had forgotten. Now they celebrated. Now they remembered. Now joy was great.

The other extreme is rote. It was heartless religious service. The feasts were held but it touched no one's soul. The sacrifice was made but it changed no one's life. The collection was before them accompanied by the expectation that it should always be this way. The people souls were calloused to the Lords provision.

We do not celebrate enough. Really celebrate. Yes we are nation that is impatient, over indulgent. We entertain ourselves to death and are addicted in instant gratification but we don't really celebrate. We have fallen into the second extreme. Very little actually matters.

Annual celebrations tell the story of the Lord working in your life.

They tell the story of His provision in both seasons of drought and abundance. They tell of our dependency upon Him. They tell of the change He has brought.

Tell your story. Celebrate.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at

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