As we look to follow Jesus, to learn to live ‘freely and lightly’ - we see that Jesus sat and had meals with people, He enjoyed people’s company, He went to parties, He went on road trips with people, He sat around camp fires with people, and He celebrated feasts and festivals with people.
Jesus knew how to play, He knew how to have fun, He knew how to celebrate!
Religion and tradition can get in the way of our ability to celebrate and have fun. Look at the Pharisees, they were more concerned with their religion than Jesus’ ability to heal someone (Matthew 12:1-14). That miracle alone was worth throwing a party and celebrating about, and yet their response was to plot how they could kill Jesus.
We can all fall into this trap, when we become tired out with too much work, we forget to rest, we lose track of following Jesus and we lose our joy, our ability to have fun and to celebrate.
Here’s five simple benefits we can all grow from as we look at Jesus’ life and seek to implement more opportunities of celebration and fun in our lives:
- Celebration saves us from taking ourselves too seriously.
- Celebration helps us relax and enjoy the good things of life.
- Celebration can help us in seasons of depression.
- Celebration overcomes comparison.
- Celebration leads to celebration.
God wants us to have fun in our lives. Learn to celebrate each other’s achievements, it might be a new job, finishing a big project, exam results, birthdays, anniversaries, marriages - let’s celebrate the small and the big things!
(1) Why do you think we can find celebration so difficult at times?
(2) What practical things can you do this week to make celebration part of the ‘small things’ of life?
(3) Can you think of any examples where celebration would have helped you overcome the comparison trap? (the story of the Prodigal son and his brother is another good example of this. Read the story here.)