Something Worth Celebrating
Fall is nearly here, which means football is back and basketball isn’t too far behind. These are my two favorite sports to watch—it doesn’t matter who’s playing. You’ll notice that the crowd at any sporting game is usually on its feet, cheering nearly the entire game, celebrating when their team plays well, clapping, shouting, giving high-fives to complete strangers. Does a sports stadium during a game ever make you think of church? Or heaven?
“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)
“‘Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” (Luke 15:23-24)
This is a picture of heaven, a place where celebrations are a regular occurrence. All of heaven celebrates when a sinner repents. God throws a party when a child comes home. Those celebrations probably make sports arena cheering look like a library.
As children of God we are commanded to praise our Lord. Psalm 150 is the Praise Psalm; six verses, all starting with “Praise Him” that describe where, why, and with what to praise God. How would the world’s perception of Christians change if we reflected this level of praise and celebration? What if we celebrated a baptism like we celebrate a touchdown? Isn’t one significantly more important than the other?
It is all a matter of the heart. Some people don’t shout and raise hands or stand on their feet to applaud. They don’t do it for baptisms and they wouldn’t do it for a touchdown. But if you do cheer more for a sports team than you do a repentant sinner making a public confession of faith, ask yourself why. Consider the celebration that is taking place in heaven. Consider why such a celebration is taking place. Consider the significance of someone turning their life over to God. Isn’t that something worth celebrating?
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.