Good tidings and joy to you this Christmas season! It is my hope that as we conclude this year, your passion is persistent, and that you recognize the faithfulness of Emmanuel. With this final installment of Living on Mission in 2021, it is fitting to remind ourselves of the necessity and discipline of celebration.
In 1978, Theologian Richard Foster authored a book called the Celebration of Disciplines. It teaches that the disciples of Christ are to celebrate discipline but also to practice the discipline of celebration.
Foster recognized that with corporate disciplines, we must worship together, guide/confess to one another, and ultimately celebrate with each other. Why is celebration important to the Mission? When looking at the writings of the apostle Paul, his words to Church of Philippi were to “Rejoice in the Lord, and again I say Rejoice.” (Phil 4:4) Augustine said that the Christians themselves should resemble that of an alleluia. They are to have a God be Praised mindset. When we celebrate within ourselves, and with others in this way, we edify the Body we are a part of. It is in our praise, song, or dance that we offer something that is life-giving. Whether it is sitting around a table with those down the street, or those in a different country, we must never be so focused on looking forward, that we forget to celebrate with those around us.
In the book of Luke, the phrase “the Son of Man came” is written twice. The first says that the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). This was His mission. The second account says that the Son of Man came eating and drinking (Luke 7:34). His life resembled celebration so much that Jesus spent a significant amount of time around a table enjoying the company of those He had come to save.
If our lives are to look like that of Christ, we must not only focus on the miracles or ministry of Jesus, but also on the fact that Jesus loved being around the table with people.
As you go through the Christmas season, I encourage you to practice the discipline of celebration! Here are some resources for those interested in going a bit deeper.
Check out this article on "Celebration" by John Mark Comer and Gavin Bennett.
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