The discussion of the spiritual discipline of “celebration” is quite confrontational and deep. We celebrate what we intrinsically value. If we look at our discipline(s) in life and/or lack thereof… it might actually point to an unsettling reality that we do not value with our actions what we profess to value with our words.
As you look at your daily life, what do your actions show you celebrate and deeply value? How often do you celebrate your comforts, preferences, or freedoms instead of celebrating Christ for what He accomplished on the cross? Do you celebrate yourself? Are you worthy of being celebrated? Are the things, people, or ambitions you celebrate worthy of your adoration?
Our small group is currently exploring the various spiritual disciplines. Tonight we discussed the disciplines of celebration and gratitude. I thought I would quickly post notes on celebration from the books we are going through. The books are Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster and Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transform Us by Adele Calhoun. The content in this post is referenced and adapted from those books.
There are a variety of ways to practice celebration. Unfortunately, most of us confine celebration to church gatherings, corporate worship, singing in the car, and occasional parties. The longest book in the Bible, Psalms, is a collection of celebratory art in the form of poetry. Sometimes the Psalms are filled with God-glorifying and focused joy and celebration… other times they are filled with depravity, lament, complaining, whining, and frustration. We need to stretch and challenge our understanding, experience, and practice of celebration! Celebration erupts out of our adoration of Jesus.
Joy is the end result of the spiritual disciplines being a reality in our lives and devotion to Christ. God brings about the transformation of our lives through the Holy Spirit and the disciplines… and we only know true joy as the Holy Spirit transforms and cleans us from the inside out. Holy Spirit transformation causes us to radiate in and from the Spirit, show abundant love, sanctifies us, grows our understanding and giving of grace, and molds us into Christlikeness.