Monday, May 13, 2013

The Celebration Service

Scripture: Nehemiah 12:27-28
Now at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought out the Levites from all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem so that they might celebrate the dedication with gladness, with hymns of thanksgiving and with songs to the accompaniment of cymbals, harps and lyres. So the sons of the singers were assembled from the district around Jerusalem, and from the villages of the Netophathites,

Insights:  I started the sermon yester in a rather dismal and depressing way.  I verbally painted a picture of our society and many of its woes, ranging from economics and divorce to suicide and international tensions.  In the lost world there are not a lot of things in which one can place their hope.  Theologically speaking, for the lost world there is NOTHING in which they can place their hope, because we know that true hope only comes through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  After painting this picture, however, I expressed the truth of our Lord Jesus in our lives as Christ-followers.  I informed the congregation that I believed God wanted His children to be full of joy in their lives and that lead into my first point of the sermon and today’s Thought by Scott.  Remember back with me over the past few weeks.  The wall had been completed, a revival service held, a prayer of repentance followed and they concluded it with a written declaration of their faithfulness to God.  All of those things lead up to today’s verses in which we see the people of Jerusalem holding a celebration.  Notice with me that this celebration is held with gladness.  That Hebrew word literally means with gaiety, mirth, pleasure and delight.  Also notice all of the instruments used in this celebration.  There were cymbals, harps and lyres.  These people were singing hymns of thanksgiving.  Were all of their problems and struggles over?  No, they were slowly rebuilding the city and removing the rubble, but the people had a new spark of enthusiasm.  Their vision had been renewed and they were looking to the future with their God with expectant eyes.  Beloved, we need to celebrate the times in our lives in which the Lord had done great things.  We are a short-minded people and these times of celebration help us to remember the goodness of God.  The Bible does not prescribe a frequency for such celebrations, but I believe they should be often.  These celebrations among fellow Christ-followers do not have to always be a formal setting at a church building.  One could have a celebration party at their home.  The point is CELEBRATE the goodness of God.

  1. For what do you have to celebrate in your life?
  2. Is your celebration full of gaiety, mirth, pleasure and delight?
Prayer: Father, for salvation alone, I have all the reason I need to celebrate.  You, however, continue to bless me beyond imagination and for all of these I am able to celebrate.  I pray, my celebration of Your great goodness pleases You.  Amen.

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