in Every Season
By McKenna Takach
March 31, 2020
Passages of the day: Click HERE to read today’s passages.
This past weekend was my six-month-iversary to my husband. Most of you probably think that is a silly thing to acknowledge. Up until last week, I would have heartily agreed with you. Six-months is not much of a milestone, and honestly, celebration these past few weeks has felt rather heartless in light of everything else happening. How could I celebrate when so many are hurting? How could I celebrate when there is such heaviness in the world?
In our passage this morning, God lays out the times of year the Israelites were commanded to celebrate. Yes, commanded. Festivals, feasts and ceremonies were the way God ordered the lives of his people, punctuating the mundane and weight of living. They forced a stop and required them to remember that all they had belonged to and came from God. There were years of abundance when celebration must have felt easy and carefree. Open handedness then would have been joyful and light. But there must have been years of poor harvest and national tragedy where celebration felt much more sacrificial. God commanded the celebrations to take place no matter the circumstances, every year.
When Oliver told me to get dressed up for dinner, it felt odd, but I did it anyway. He put on his white collared shirt, tie and cufflinks. He ordered from the Italian place a stone’s throw from our house. We opened a bottle of red wine and talked and laughed about all that God had done during the past six months. It felt as though for a few hours, God pulled back the darkness and loneliness of the season from our home. I went to sleep that night overwhelmed with thanksgiving and free from the anxiety I had unconsciously been carrying for weeks. That’s what celebration does. It lifts us.
That is why God commanded the Israelites to celebrate. Not because they’d always feel like it, but by celebrating they gave God permission to pull back the darkness and remember the light. We weren’t meant to rest in despair or hopelessness. Acknowledge it, yes. Mourn in it, yes. But live in it? No. God has, by the power of his Spirit given us the capacity to puncture the darkness of every season with celebration because he is still God. We can’t always understand what he is doing, or why the world hurts, but we can celebrate as we wait for deliverance. How can today be a cause for celebration for you?
He will rescue them from oppression and
violence, for precious is their blood in his
— Psalm 72:14