One of the wonderful parts of Christ Presbyterian Church is that the congregation has a pattern of celebration. Early on in my ministry it became clear to me that the congregation values the importance of celebrating the many ways that God is blessing the congregation and its members. Many folks might not realize it, but the worship and fellowship of Christ Presbyterian Church has a regular pattern of celebration through worship and fellowship.
Obviously, there are established celebrations that come via our liturgical year such as Easter and Christmas, and we take those celebrations very seriously. We seek to make the most of the joy that surrounds the major holidays. Yet, for the congregation, it is not enough to celebrate just these times.
Celebration Sunday is a great example of just how Christ Presbyterian brings celebration to our worship and fellowship. We could just end the program year with a note in the bulletin and give a gift to our teachers. Instead, we fill our whole morning with the joy. I have to admit that it is always fun to see how excited our congregation gets to spend time together. The fellowship hall fills not only with food, but friendship. Our intergenerational community truly enjoys spending time together. In worship our congregation was especially blessed with a wonderful service that included celebrations of the gift and talents that have been shared. The reality of our worship was one that gave thanksgiving and praise to God for all that has been happening in our midst. Sunday School teachers, musicians and our choirs helped us celebrate the power of God in our midst.
Why is it that we like to celebrate so much? I believe celebration is one of the chief realities of our life. We are called to give God glory, honor and praise. When we unite in the spirit of celebration and express our joy to God, we do just that. We also remind ourselves of the ways God has blessed us that we might have forgotten.
Celebration is not just a macro level activity. We are called to celebrate the goodness of God in our lives as individuals. Often the weight of negativity and pain trump our desire to praise God. One way we can encourage ourselves to celebrate is to turn our attention to our blessings. Over this summer, I want to encourage you to try the spiritual of Daily Examen. At its simplest form it is taking time at the end of your day to pray and become aware of where you experienced God’s presence during your day. Perhaps asking the simple question, “What can I celebrate today?” will help you. You can find a more significant description of the Examen here: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-examen/