As followers of Jesus, we celebrate to remember and anticipate God’s abundant goodness, creativity, faithfulness, beauty, and love. This practice invites families to cultivate joy with the God who rejoices in us (Zeph. 3:17). Here are five “delight-full” ways to do so.
1. CELEBRATE OFTEN
God’s great love is new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23); that’s worth celebrating each day! Look for ways to incorporate joy into daily routines and annual events. Laugh. Dance. Play. Praise. Cheer. Sing. Be silly. Create. And at those times when life is hard, celebrate the assurance that, unlike happiness, the joy of the Lord is present in every circumstance.
2. CELEBRATE BIG THINGS AND LITTLE THINGS
Mark holy days, holidays, birthdays, and other special days with meaningful objects (colored tablecloths, candles, special dishes, favorite foods, old photos, etc.) and make time to retell stories of God’s faithfulness both from Scripture and in your own lives. Rejoice in ordinary events too, by paying joyful attention to lost teeth, first days of school, passing tests, learning skills, making friends, visiting family, and more.
3. CELEBRATE GOD’S WORK AND GOD’S WORLD
Look for glimpses of God at work in your life and in the lives of others; share and receive those sightings with joy. Ask: “What can we thank God for today (or this week)?” Wonder: “How is God working in the highs and lows of our life (my life)?” Model using your senses to fully (and daily!) note God’s abundant creation: smell fresh flowers, taste cool water, hear birds singing, feel warm sunshine. Notice the beautiful diversity that God has built into our world.
4. CELEBRATE EACH OTHER AND YOUR NEIGHBORS
Participate in local festivals and community events. Get to know your neighbors so that you can celebrate their special occasions too. A card signed by your family and/or a delivered (or shared!) meal are simple ways your family can join in their joy.
5. MAKE FAMILY CELEBRATIONS FAITH-FORMING EVENTS
Take every opportunity to weave stories of God’s faithfulness into your celebrations of milestones in your life and in the lives of your family members. Use special days to name all that you love about the person you’re celebrating, and describe the ways you see God at work in them.
Want to dig deeper? Check out the Faith Practices Project’s family resources on celebrating at crcna.org/FaithPracticesProject.