If our story is the Good News, then we should be known of the most celebratory people in the world. It should mark who we are. As Jeff Vanderstelt said, “As missionary people we are sent into a culture to engage in the celebrations with the people, but we bring the better wine. We’re the ones who bring what is lacking, whether that means we put a towel around ourselves and we wash the feet or clean up the mess, or we bring what’s lacking to the party. We bring redemption to things that are broken. Let’s continue with our look at the Rhythms (from the Soma School).
We gather together to celebrate God’s extravagant blessings in Jesus
God’s calls people to regularly celebrate his goodness and grace. We gather weekly in missional communities and regularly as a larger family, to share stories and celebrate all that God is doing in and amongst us. We invite everyone to these celebrations as a way of displaying and declaring God’s Glory, exhorting each other in the Gospel and encouraging each other in Mission. (Leviticus 23; Acts 2:42-47; Hebrews 10:24-25)
We are created to worship and one of the ways is through celebration. Every person in every part of the world celebrates. The question is: To whom or what is the celebration directed? Because of sin and idolatry we are prone to celebrate the creation instead of the Creator.
So what does this mean for our three values: Upward (me and God), Inward (me and God’s people), Outward (me and kingdom reconciliation)
If we truly understand and believe the gospel, we should be the most celebratory people on the planet. God regularly called his people to celebrate through feasts and parties because he did not want them to forget His grace and abundant provision. The very celebration wasn’t just a response – it was also a demonstration of what God is like and has done. We must enter into a regular rhythm of celebrating God’s extravagant blessings.
Part of my ability to live out the gospel is dependent upon my regular reflection on the gospel. I need to regularly set my affections on things above – the work of God in Jesus Christ and what is now true of me because of Him. I should ask myself:
- How is gospel celebration a part of my everyday life? How should it be?
We are called to not give up meeting together so that we might spur each other on to love and good deeds. Jesus himself demonstrates this through his first recorded miracle – at a wedding feast where he affirms the celebration of life together because celebrating life together demonstrates the working out of and one of the purposes for the gospel. Ask yourselves:
- How often are we gathering together to celebrate and how does the Gospel inform it?
The people God has sent us to are also celebrating – they happen to be celebrating a different god and a different story. We need to enter into their celebrations and do it unto the true God, fully aware that even this celebration is within His Story. Then, within the celebration we are to look for ways to serve, redeem, bring gospel light, etc…
- What celebrations should you and your community be participating in as you seek to bring the Gospel to bear within the culture God has sent you to?
- What celebrations should you be creating in order to invite others into the celebration of the Gospel?