After a brief worship service tomorrow night, we’ll be celebrating birthdays that fall in the month of April. We’ll have cake, ice cream, coffee punch, and a lot of laughs. All are welcome!
We do this because we’re a family. The church is the family of God. When we believed in Christ, we became “children of God” (John 1:12). We’re of “the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10) and “the household of God” (Ephesians 2:19). And Jesus said, “whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35).
Traditionally, people in the church would call each other “brother” or “sister.” We don’t use that kind of language quite as much today, but the sentiment is still ingrained in us. We’re a family.
And because we’re a family, we love to celebrate things like birthdays together. We love to see our kids grow up in the church, and to see others’ kids grow up. We love to celebrate every milestone together. And we love to rejoice as we age together, whether we’re young or old, because we recognize that God is the one who sustains our lives.
Some might say that these kinds of celebrations have little to do with serving God as a church, but I disagree. Part of serving God is having fellowship together. And while fellowship is certainly more than eating cake and ice cream, fellowship often occurs when we eat together. It’s an opportunity to talk about life, to talk about faith, and to encourage one another as we do these things together.
Jesus often ate with His disciples. And He often celebrated with His disciples. Jesus was not some dry, stale person who didn’t know how to have a good time. People from all walks of life flocked to Him because He radiated love and joy.
We’re not a perfect church. I’m confident that we fail in many areas. But I pray that we will not fail to love one another, and to celebrate how God is calling each one of us to find our joy in Him, while we’re young, and while we’re old.