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Celebration

When I was asked earlier this week if I would create a blog on Celebration, the very first thing I thought of was the song “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang.  You know this song!  The one from 1980 that is played at every wedding reception you have ever attended.  Well, if you don’t know this song or just need to get in the mood to read a blog on celebration take a couple of minutes to listen to this song again

I do apologize because you will be singing this song the rest of the day. Did you notice that this video has been watched over 22 million times? We really want to Celebrate something. What did you Celebrate this last week? Was it the snow on Tuesday? Perhaps it is the sun and 70 degree day that we will have today. Are you too worried about something or stressed to celebrate the little things in life? In Matthew 6:25-34, we are told not to worry that God will take care of us. God is going to feed us, give us something to drink and clothes to wear. I just hope it is not Kool’s outfit from his video!

Celebrate good times, come on! (Let’s celebrate)

Earlier this week I was able to hear the story of two missionaries that ZPC supports in Mongolia. Twenty years ago, when they started, Mongolia had less than 10 Christians.  Most of the people in Mongolia are either Buddhist or Muslims. The Buddhist population believes in reincarnation. They are told that if you have been bad in this life you will be reincarnated as a goat or stray dog. The Muslim population is told if their family does not sacrifice a sheep on the mountain, they are destined for a fiery after-life.

Over Easter, we remember that Jesus Christ died on the cross to forgive us our sins. He has been our sacrificial lamb. But wait, then he beat death and rose to heaven (Luke 24:1-35). That is why today in Mongolia there are over 45,000 Christians.  These new Christians are truly celebrating Christ our Savior. This is a perfect week to talk about Celebration! 

What are you going to celebrate today, this week, this year? Can we all remember the Easter Celebration in September? Can we carry this Celebration with us every day? Can we invite someone else to join us in the Celebration?

So I believe that Kool & The Gang had it correct when they said:

“There’s a party goin’ on right here

A celebration to last throughout the years

So bring your good times, and your laughter too

We gonna celebrate your party with you

Come on now

CELEBRATION”

Posted by Kurt Strueh with

Worship

As a child, I believed that worship was something confined within the walls of a church, reserved for a particular people at a particular hour on Sunday morning and that the only mode by which to express said worship was through music. The truth that God continually leads me to, however, is that worship has no confines. It is neither bound by space nor time and most importantly, it is not something set aside for the saints. Worship is something that finds us all. We are all worshipers. Its inevitable, something or someone is always going to attract our attentions and affections. Louie Giglio in his book “The Air I Breathe” puts it this way, “Whatever we value most will ultimately determine who we are and what or who we worship. If we worship money, we become greedy at the core of our heart. If we worship some sinful habit, that same sin will grip our soul and poison our character. If we worship stuff, our life will become material, void of eternal significance.” What we worship, what we love, we become.

The truth that we are all worshipers takes on an even greater significance as a Christ follower. Worship isn’t confined to a 20 minute experience once a week on Sunday morning, but rather worship is the way by which we, as Christ followers, express ourselves to God, individually and as a church. Worship is a practice that forms us into Christlikeness. Realizing the significance of worship as a Christ follower should change us. The goal becomes not to simply get the church to raise their hands, clap, sing louder, sing the right songs or feel good when they walk out of the doors on Sunday morning, but for the church to become the kinds of people who use their hands for good the rest of the week. The goal is not simply to create a worship service, but for our worship service to create a certain kind of church in the world.

Perhaps the psalmist says it best in Psalm 115. “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name be glory, because of Your love and faithfulness.” The Psalmist goes on to contrast this first verse by exposing the idols and gods that we tend to give our attention and affection to.

“Their gods are metal and wood,
 handmade in a basement shop:


Carved mouths that can’t talk,

Painted eyes that can’t see,


Tin ears that can’t hear,

Molded noses that can’t smell,


Hands that can’t grasp,

Feet that can’t walk or run,

Throats that never utter a sound.”

And to sum it all up in verse 8, 
”Those who make them have become just like them, they have become just like the gods in which they trust.” Whatever we worship, and we all worship something, we become. We become what we love. So in the immortal words of Mr. Bo Diddley, “Who do you love?”

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