Being a Cincinnati Bengals fan for most of my life, I did not have much reason to celebrate. The team had not won a playoff game since 1990 and could only manage an average of six wins a season between 1990-2020. Then came 2021, and the Bengals somehow made it to the Super Bowl. Despite the loss in the game itself, it was lots of fun to celebrate something so rare as a Bengals Super Bowl bid. I had loads of friends joining in the celebration as well, which made it so much better.
Finding victory is awesome. But there is something special about being able to celebrate that victory. One of the important ways to achieve the unity as a team that Jesus spoke of is to celebrate together. When you win a big game, when one of your teammates or coaches achieves a milestone, when a player finishes well and is ready to head to the next new thing, these are all reasons to get together and have fun. And it can show God to others.
During His prayer in John 17, Jesus says this:
“’I have given them the glory you have given Me, so that they may be one as We are one. I am in them and You are in Me, so that they may be made completely one, that the world may know You have sent Me and have loved them as You have loved Me.’” -John 17:22-23
In Luke 15, Jesus shares three parables: the Lost Sheep (vs.4-7), the Lost Coin (vs.8-10), and the Prodigal Son (vs.11-32). Each of these parables has some shared elements:
Victory – A shepherd loses one of this 100 sheep, but he finds it. A lady loses one of her precious silver coins, and turns the house upside down and finds it. A gentleman has one of his sons collect his inheritance and spends it all, only to return home again.
Joy – The shepherd joyfully carries home the sheep. The lady excitedly calls her neighbors. The father runs to his lost son when he sees him down the road.
Rejoicing Together – In each parable, they call their friends together and rejoice over the finding of what was lost.
Celebration, especially for the follower of Christ, should always be done from gratefulness and joy and praise to Him.
Read the rest of the article to learn how to celebrate well.