The importance of having fun with Jesus, the God of Celebration!
I heard a quote a couple of years ago that said one of the most common metaphors in the Bible is celebration!
Let’s think about it…
Praise, worship, adoration of the person of Jesus is a practice of celebration!
In the presence of God, there’s fullness of joy, and at His right hand are pleasures forevermore(Psalm 16:11) because Jesus is at His right hand(Mark 16:19) and so are we(Ephesians 2:6). 💪
The first miracle Jesus performed publicly, was at a party…and the same miracle is what kept the party going! (John 2:1–12)
Throughout Jewish culture and the Biblical narrative, there are several mentions of celebrations, festivals, and feasts. Jesus is a Jew, which means that growing up, He more than likely participated in those celebrations and feasts!
The Word says the angels celebrate when one sinner repents (Luke 15:10). In Luke 15, the story of the Prodigal son shows us a father who is ELATED to have their son back home. When his son returns, pensive and full of shame, his dad throws him a PARTY! He doesn’t even mention his sin, but he celebrates his return to the family. (Luke 15:11–32)
Jesus likes to celebrate!
Maybe religious culture or the way we grew up discouraged us from celebrating and focused more on the disciplines of our faith but Jesus created us to enjoy Him and the abundant life He came to give us (John 10:10). It’s tough to believe if we have a legalistic, rigid, hard-nosed view of God or grew up without the leisure of consistent fun or enjoyment.
That was me.
Earlier last year I was sitting on my couch and the Spirit of God flooded the room and I immediately began confessing all my known sins, cause well, that’s what I’m supposed to do right? Ha. To my shock, His response was this:
“What do you like to do for fun?”
I said huh? 😳
He asked again, “What do you like to do for fun?”
He showed me that a reason why I was in such a dry place and why I was struggling with certain sins were in my life was because I wasn’t taking the time to actually enjoy my life. I was constantly trying to prove myself to Him instead of celebrating all that He accomplished for me and enjoying the freedom that comes with being His legitimate adopted child.
Sometimes the reason people fall into addiction is simply out of boredom or loneliness. Being inactive in fruitful and productive things can sometimes be an open door for the enemy to cause us to drift from God and into sin. See Galatians 5:16–18
Check out this article to learn more about open doors to addiction.
Furthermore, some of the suggestions on how to take a Sabbath day of rest (which is a commandment 😅) are to celebrate creation and all God has given us.
To drive the point home, on Coach and Joe, a ministry leader spoke about their struggle with resting with God in a podcast and mentioned that the Lord told Him, “Until you learn to play with Me and rest with Me, you’ll never know Me as Father or Friend”
The rigid, depressed, frail Jesus that we may see in paintings or envision in our minds, isn’t the real Jesus of the Bible. Jesus became HUMAN . He felt everything we felt, which includes both our sadness and our pleasures.
Is that too far-fetched? Yeah, it kind of is for me too. I grew up believing God hated me and any joy or fun I had was sinful.
Crazy huh? 🤔 😅
From what I’ve researched and learned from others, I’m not alone. Jesus wants to BE with us. All of us. Including the passions He’s given us.
Do you struggle with celebration? You’re not alone. It seems… sacrilegious sometimes but it’s a large part of who God is and what He about.
Don’t hear what I’m not saying. Yes, the disciplines matter. They’re how we grow! Yes, holiness is a necessity and a standard (Hebrews 12:14), yes, we must study to show ourselves approved (2 Timothy 2:15) but don’t forget about the joy and celebration of the Lord and all He’s done for us!
A good suggestion of how to implement celebration is to find what you like to do and intentionally invite God into it. Do what makes you come alive and do it with the God of the Living!
I’ll leave you with this quote by St. Iraneus of Lyons
“The glory of God is man fully alive”
He calls us to life and life abundantly. Let’s do our best to celebrate that.
More Serious than God — Coach and Joe podcast
From Panic to Rest — Coach and Joe podcast