“And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment. So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horn” – 2 Samuel 6:14- 15 (NIV).
Celebrations and festivals are very much part of the people of Israel. In the midst and bustle of life, it is part of their culture, to pause, sit down and celebrate life through events filled with food, good drink, laughter, joy and dancing.
First, there is Sabbath, a public holiday where most services are suspended except the most critical, as most people spend the day at home with family and friends enjoying family feasts.
The Rosh Hashanah is celebrated as the beginning of the Jewish new year. Yom Kippur, eight days after, is the Day of Atonement, a time to enumerate one’s misdeeds and pray for forgiveness. Sukkot, is the “Feast of Tabernacles” which celebrates the mass pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. Passover, is celebrated in the spring, commemorating the Exodus from Egypt and liberation from bondage. Hanukkah, commemorates the triumph of the Jews, over the Greek rulers and against the Hellenism of the Greeks. There are over 25 other festivals celebrated among the Israelis through the year.
What does this way of life teach us? One thing for sure is the importance of pausing in our hurried life to celebrate life, significant events of the past, and give glory to God. But festivals need not necessarily be national pastimes. Each one of us has also those events in our life’s journey worthy pausing and celebrating. One could start with anniversaries like birthday, of course, but there could also be special moments worth remembering from wedding to personal events only know to you and close family members. Do not hesitate to pause and celebrate such!
To celebrate is not about splashing money. Celebrations are about pausing, laughing and having a good time while reflecting over an event. Through the monotony of life they bring cheer and joy. And when one looks back over a long life there are the things that give life memories, of a life well lived and time that was set aside to honor God, through dance and merry as King David once did
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of heaven, may I through the year, learn to take time off, pause to celebrate of your goodness and give you glory, in Jesus’s name I do pray.