Reason to Celebrate

Joel Plantinga

READ : Nehemiah 8:10-18

“ . . . this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (v. 10)

A website called “365 reasons to party” gives an occasion for celebrating every day of the year. After all, who wouldn’t want to party on January 23, when Tupperware was invented, or on March 9, when ketchup was declared a vegetable? I’m sure Americans everywhere will celebrate December 23 as the publication date of the Tax Simplification Guide, which is only 1,379 pages in length.

Nehemiah reminded the people of Jerusalem that they had a real reason to celebrate. Even while they wiped away tears of sorrow for the sinful disobedience from which God had rescued them, they were called to celebrate the goodness of their deliverer. And in one of my favorite verses, Nehemiah says that “From the days of Joshua . . . until that day, the Israelites had not celebrated . . . like this” (v. 17 NIV). They were clearly moved to joy by what God had done for them.

I don’t think we celebrate enough. We ought to celebrate every day like it’s Christmas or Easter. After all, God is still with us and Christ is still alive! When we take the time to consider what God has done in and for us, how can we help but party? You don’t need 365 reasons; you only need one.

PRAYER

Lord, we celebrate your goodness and love. Amen.