Crossroads: Celebrate!

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Psalm 97

Your Story

Talk about your favorite celebration. Was it a celebration of an accomplishment? A birthday? Christmas? Was it for you or for someone else? How did you feel in the midst of the celebration?

My Story and the Bible Story

I love birthdays. I love celebrating my birthday and celebrating other people’s as well. There’s something about a birthday. One of my favorite birthday celebrations actually took place at camp. I was in seminary, and I was at children’s camp with my church. We went to a restaurant for dinner, and then the next thing I knew, they were bringing out a cake and I was standing on a chair with a Frisbee on my head (the kids’ idea!) while everyone sang happy birthday. It was such a fun celebration, and I’m glad I got to celebrate my birthday with them.

When you think about it, a birthday is all about celebrating who that person is. We are celebrating the day they were born. It’s not about accomplishments or things you have done, but it’s about who you are. Have you ever thought about celebrating who God is?

Read Psalm 97. From The Message: “God rules: there’s something to shout over! On the double, mainlands and islands—celebrate! Bright clouds and storm clouds circle ’round him; right and justice anchor his rule. Fire blazes out before him, flaming high up the craggy mountains. His lightnings light up the world; Earth, wide-eyed, trembles in fear. The mountains take one look at God and melt, melt like wax before earth’s Lord. The heavens announce that he’ll set everything right, and everyone will see it happen—glorious! All who serve handcrafted gods will be sorry—and they were so proud of their ragamuffin gods! On your knees, all you gods—worship him! And Zion, you listen and take heart! Daughters of Zion, sing your hearts out: God has done it all, has set everything right. You, God, are High God of the cosmos, far, far higher than any of the gods. God loves all who hate evil, and those who love him he keeps safe, snatches them from the grip of the wicked. Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people, joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil. So, God’s people, shout praise to God, give thanks to our Holy God!”

Psalm 97 is all about celebrating who God is. The God we serve rules the world. His lightning lights up the world and the Earth trembles with His thunder. The mountains look at God and melt. The heavens announce that He’s going to set everything right. God has done it all! And that same God loves us unconditionally. He doesn’t care whether or not we make the baseball team, or if we come in first at the track meet. He doesn’t care if you can’t make all A’s or even if you make your bed. Yes, He wants what’s best for you and He wants you to work hard and try your best. But even when you don’t do those things, or when you try but you fail, He loves you. It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do, He still loves you. And according to Psalm 97, He plants amazing things in our lives: light and joy. Light is His light, the light of His love that shines through us. He also plants joy in our lives. Think about all that God has done for you, the light He has planted in you and the joy He brings. Look around and see all that He has created. Remember that He’s going to make everything right one day, and that He’s always by our side. What a thing to celebrate!

Discussion

• As a family, talk about specific things God has done in your lives. Ask your children what things God has done in their lives as well.
• Talk about the things God has created as well as some of the characteristics of God. Talk about some of your favorite things that God has created.
• What are some of your favorite names for God?

Prayer and Action

This week, take time to celebrate God. Plan a party for God where you and your family sing praises to Him and eat cake or cupcakes. Get creative.

Prayer: Thank God for who He is and all of the things He has done in your lives. Ask God to help you all remember that He will set things right one day, and that He is more powerful than anything or anyone else.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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