Scheduled for January 5
Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day are traditional times of celebration for us.
Have you ever thought what the word “celebrate” means?
We always want to celebrate with a
crowd of people -- usually friends and acquaintances. Celebrating by yourself
just doesn’t seem to have the same feeling.
We need a reason to celebrate. We
celebrate the start of the year; we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries,
holidays that roll around once a year -- but always, there is a reason for our
It’s most common that the reason
looks to the past -- such as birthdays or anniversaries, or national holidays.
Even New Year’s Eve, with its resolutions for the coming year, shows old Father
Time on the way out as well as Baby Time coming in.
Sometimes we celebrate a person,
rather than an event. Memorial Day is for veterans; Labor Day for workers;
Valentine’s Day for lovers -- and St. Patrick’s day for anyone who can
recognize the color “green.”
Nobody celebrates with a diet.
The diet starts January 2nd, not New Year’s Day. Food and drink -- often too
much food and drink -- are a very real part of a celebration.
Finally, a celebration is a happy
time -- even a joyous one. The Fourth of July may have its solemn moments of
remembrance -- but it must have fireworks.
use that same word, “celebrate”, to mean that we are taking the Lord’s Supper.
We often speak in our public worship of “celebrating Communion.” When I first
thought about that, my reaction was, “a completely different meaning of the
word.” But think about it:
We celebrate the Lord’s Supper in
a group. It may be a small group, even as small as two people, but a group is
required. How many do you need for an anniversary?
Do we celebrate for a reason? The
greatest reason in the world: Jesus, the Messiah, died on a cross that we
might have eternal life. If eternal life is not worth celebrating, then
That reason looks to the past,
just like our other celebrations -- to the hill at Calvary. It is a greater
celebration in that it also looks to the present, as we examine ourselves. It
is greater yet, for it looks to the future -- when He returns.
Some celebrations are for events;
some are for persons; ours is for both. It is the celebration both of the
Crucifixion and the Crucified.
Surprisingly enough, even this
most sacred of celebrations must be done with food and drink. In its roots,
the Passover, it was referred to as “the Feast.” Other celebrations fatten the
body; this one feeds the soul.
So then, when you take it today,
do not neglect its solemn aspect -- but remember, this is a celebration. Take,
eat -- with joy.