Monday, January 15
We have to celebrate
Scripture: Genesis 37-38, Psalm 7, Luke 15
Luke 15:32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.
Luke 15 begins with the tax collectors and sinners gathering to listen to Jesus, and the Pharisees complaining about the company He kept. Who do think learned more? The listeners. Every time. I was at a breakfast this morning with community leaders before the MLK rally and march. One leader encouraged us to develop our listening skills. If we want unity in our community, we need to learn to listen to each other, rather than just complain and blame.
Luke 15 ends with the father telling the older son that, “we had to celebrate and rejoice.” We had no choice—we had to! This note of celebration sounds in each of three stories Jesus told. The shepherd rejoiced with his friends and neighbors when he found his lost sheep. The woman rejoiced with her friends and neighbors when she found her lost coin. The father rejoiced with his household when his lost son came home. They had to! The celebration was a logical necessity—but it is lost on so many people. The Pharisees, instead of rejoicing that lost people were being found, could only be critical, like the elder brother.
So often, we only rejoice when we get our way, but not when others get theirs. CS Lewis said that rejoicing or celebration is the serious business of heaven. We will rejoice not only for what God has done for us, but for everyone around us too. We might as well get started now! Start rejoicing over the good you see happening not just in your life but in others, rather than just being focused on what you don’t like or what you don’t have.
We have to celebrate!
Prayer: Lord, help me to rejoice with those who rejoice—to be as happy when others flourish as when I do.