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Eric's Sunday Sermon; Celebration of Life
Did you know that some people do not celebrate birthdays? Can you imagine not celebrating a 4 year old’s birthday. I must admit this is just what I have heard. I have never been invited over to a house of a 4 year old on their birthday where they did not have some kind of party. But really I have heard of such things. Something about it being sacrilege to celebrate a human’s condition in life. If the focus is on the child and occasion then it is not on God. Interesting stuff but a little strange to this person’s ear and eyes.
We really say this in response to such concepts: Philippians 4:8King James Version (KJV) 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (hey that is provided by Bible Gateway and they have formatted so the quotes are easier to cut and paste – good for them)
How could a child’s birthday not be true, honest, just, pure, lovely and good? The growth of a life loved. This should be celebrated. Because of my “at home” daily routine I have become the purveyor of celebrations and special occasions. I paid no attention to them before but now it is my “job” to cover them. No thank you. But I had to get passed that or let the celebrations of life pass me by. Bah Humbug! But sometimes you have to put your preferences aside and sometimes that means stepping out of your comfort zone. Celebrations of life have that quality. I could not miss the wonderment of gatherings and arts and crafts and planning that goes into events. Not even to mention the glorious food.
A real celebration song
Time and date don't really matter.
Hey let us step back a second and pay some attention to the big picture. Did you know that Christmas is celebrated on a date that is just really traditional and convenient? Sure nobody for sure knows what day Jesus was born. But we picked a day and celebrate on that day. And it is good. Have you ever thought about the United States Independence day? Wouldn’t the better day be the day we defeated our foe? But who can really pinpoint that date. So we settled on July 4th. Some paperwork was mostly done on that day. Thanksgiving day as celebrated is really a little late. Harvests come in in early October in that area. And wouldn’t we just as soon celebrate thanksgiving when we made it through the winter? In late November you still do not know if your stores will see you through.
Totally neither here nor there. But all just to point out that we really do not celebrate a given hour or day for particular reason. We celebrate the life. And we pick our portions of that life. And we make them special days. This is what I dub as the celebration of life.
This I know to be true by personal experience. Some people take the celebration of special occasions and they destroy them. They become so obsessed with the perfection of the “event” that they actually get physically ill and destroy the moment for others in the process. “We are celebrating the birth or our child but the cake is not just right so I am unhappy”. Wow that is twisted but common. So either we are celebrating or we are showing off. Don’t neglect to know the difference.
We look at celebration as the celebration of life. Have you ever been to a 50 year wedding anniversary – that is just the greatest? Have you ever been to a really fun wake? Those babies are celebrations of life. There is something about a 1 year old’s birthday party that can go either way. Of course the baby does not get the celebration, so why do you have one. Is it as it should be, a celebration of the life of an infant you brought into this world? Or is it your excuse to throw a party and have it as the best party?
To this day I celebrate a “chosen day”. That is the day picked for me to celebrate being adopted. It is not the day I was adopted or my birthday – just the day they brought me home from the hospital. There is no tradition that goes into this day as it is not a traditional celebration. So we are free just to have fun and celebrate.
This is an event worth celebrating.
You just got to love these celebration outfits!
Every day celebration
Wow that sure was a roundabout way for me to get to the idea. But it is important for us to take a look at what we call celebrations. There is an event or the anniversary of an event and we plan and anticipate it and do something special. I think that is really cool. But wait just a second here. Today I got up breathing and reasonably healthy to the sights of a new day about to dawn. My family was safe and healthy. There was no crisis to face and overcome. There is good labor to be had for my family’s subsistence. And our faith is sound and alive. Now just tell me what is not to celebrate about that?
You are smarter than I am so you can already see where we are headed. What right do we have not to celebrate each day – shoot, minute for that matter. Are we really caught up in the mish mash meshuga that we cannot stop and give a big celebration of the day to day life we get to live? Sure breathing and walking around seems like no big deal, until you cannot breathe and walk around. Then it would be something special to celebrate. Are we that jaded with the sweetness of our lives?
One time I was so sick that I had trouble getting up and making a lap around the outside of the house. I would rest part way several times. Yet today I bemoan going to the gym to exercise. I have fallen in appreciation and celebration for life. What am I missing that my memory is so short? The son falls off the bike and skins himself up and we fret over the scrapes rather than rejoice in his pushing it until he gets better. The job is stressful so we bemoan that fact rather than celebrate the paycheck. The sermon did not touch us just right so we complain rather than celebrate the fact that we are free to worship together.
As for me I write a sermon and wring my hands worrying that it is good enough. Yet I fail to celebrate the fact that I am free to write and given the talent to do so. Maybe just maybe there is someone special in your life. Perhaps you take them for granted and fail to celebrate each day that you have them in your life.
Admittedly some days I get up for my prayers, reading and meditation. And I just do it. I fail to celebrate being able to do it. Please do not let this happen to you. Grab each day and celebrate the parts of that day and the blessings you have today. I cannot speak for you but I am awful darned happy to be alive today and that is worth a celebration.