10/18/18 Celebrations

READING: Luke 14-15

“Let’s celebrate with a feast.”

Luke 15:23

I am amazed by how little we celebrate when God redeems lost people. Those who are spiritually dying, headed to hell, and living in the devil’s kingdom find grace and become God’s children – and sometimes the best we do is “extend to them the right hand of fellowship” (whatever that means. . .). Some churches clap when new believers are baptized, too, but I’ve not known many churches that celebrate like these descriptions when the lost are found:

  • About a shepherd who finds his lost sheep: “When he has found it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders, and coming home, he calls his friends and neighbors together, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found my lost sheep!’” (Luke 15:5-6)
  • About a woman who finds her lost coin: “When she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, because I have found the silver coin I lost!’” (Luke 15:9)
  • From a father whose lost son comes home: “Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then bring the fattened calf and slaughter it, and let’s celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!” (Luke 15:22-24)

The point of these parables is likely to show the wrong attitude of the Pharisaical older brother who himself did not receive a party, but perhaps we’re more like him than we care to admit. Most of us did not get a party when God saved us, either, so we don’t think much about throwing a party for others. I trust we’re not jealously opposed to it (though I suspect some would be), but we still don’t celebrate like we should. In my judgment, we ought to throw more parties when God saves people.  

ACTION STEPS:  

  • Tell somebody when and how God saved you. At least celebrate as you recall your own story.
  • Encourage your small group to celebrate when God changes lives.

PRAYER: “God, I praise You for the rejoicing among the angels when people get saved. Help us to rejoice, too.”

TOMORROW’S READING: Matthew 19, Mark 10:1-31, Luke 16:1-18:30