SOMETHING TO SHOUT ABOUT!
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
It occurs to me that Christians are people who are prone not to celebrate very much. We take things as they come. We are happy when things are going well, and we dig our heels in and work harder when they aren't. Celebration is rarely part of the picture. I think that we ought to celebrate more. After all, Christians are the ones who have something to shout about!
For many people, the church is a solemn place to gather and contemplate sins and admit shortcomings. Guess what; in Christ our sins are forgiven! His grace is sufficient! And if we do sin and fall short, we have an advocate to plead our case who also happens to be the judge! That is something to shout about!
Jesus presented some interesting scenes of celebration in His parables of lost things in Luke 15. You might want to look up the parables, but I will remind you that the lost things are: a sheep, a coin and a beloved son. The shepherd went out to look for his lost sheep and was overjoyed when he found it. He was so happy that he called all of his friends together to celebrate. The coin belonged to a poor woman. She looked and looked and finally found the lost coin. She too called her friends and neighbors together to help her celebrate. When the lost son, usually known as the "prodigal son," finally returned home, his father was so overjoyed that he had the fattened calf killed and proclaimed a feast so that they could celebrate. You and I were lost and, if we are Christians, have been found. That's something to shout about! I say, “Let the celebration begin!”
Oh, I'm not saying that we ought to get rowdy or anything. I am saying that we have something to be excited about, and it's OK to be excited! A wise observer made this comment about the church: "Protestantism's dignity today is too much that of the owl, rather than that of the eagle." I think that Christ wants a people who are not afraid to soar. That is why Paul instructed the church at Philippi to: "Rejoice in the Lord always.” How is your joy today? I encourage you to remember the joy of your salvation. Revisit, rekindle and revive that joy. Let the joy of your salvation be the battery that puts the charge in your worship and your witness. And as you serve the Lord, remember, "The joy of the Lord is your strength" (Neh. 8:10).
—– Pastor Keith Andrews