“As celebration leads to healing, healing leads back to celebration. It is all God’s work; and those who find themselves called to it must, quite simply, ‘serve God and be cheerful’.” N. T. Wright , For All God’s Worth pg 22
I was reading this this morning and was struck by these two lines. Wright is arguing (and I would agree) that celebration and healing are inextricably bound to one another in the worship and service of God. Although we often tend to think that we need an occasion in order to celebrate the truth is that being alive is in itself a reason for celebration. Our lives are to be characterized by a celebratory attitude!
Perhaps you know someone like this? I have a dear friend who embodies this attitude for me. She has five children the eldest of whom is seven and her husband, although a hard worker has struggled to find work that paid enough to provide for his family (and they are very frugal). Many, many times I saw her have to put aside or change plans because circumstances simply didn’t allow her to go forward. Her attitude was always cheerful and she was able to just consider each “setback” as a new adventure in her life. I know that sometimes she was hurting and sometimes she was discouraged but what showed through more than anything else was an attitude of thankfulness to God, and celebration of the good and the “bad” in her life. What an example!
You know, I think we read things like “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) and think ” Oh what a nice sentiment!” without ever thinking through what that means in our daily life. Yet don’t we have all kinds of reasons to give thanks and rejoice? Aren’t we commanded and taught by example throughout Scripture to rejoice and give thanks regardless of circumstances? We do and we are. We need to take those commands and examples to heart, both because they are binding on us and because as the old folks say “honey attracts more flies than vinegar” and the thing that will make loving and serving God most attractive to our children and the world is seeing the joy that is in our lives regardless of circumstance.
And on that note a few reasons for joy this morning:
- F’s first week of school going really well
- being almost done with sewing for the family wedding this weekend
- Su stepping into her brother’s place while he’s at school
- W is really starting to talk!
- Better weather after 5 inches or so of rain in four days!
- a peaceful and productive weekend
- slowly ironing the bumps out of our new schedule without being stressed about it
- discipline to have devotions every morning before blogging
- encouraging comments from some fellow bloggers
- and many, many more…..