I bought Sam a present yesterday – some bunting. It’s funny how something so simple can be so effective. This particular bunting is made up of string with some heart-shaped painted bits of wood dangling every 10cm or so. I’m not sure where she’ll put them, but in the summer they’ll look good outside or hanging across a window – a kind of laid-back, beach-house look with a celebratory feel.
There’s going to be lots of bunting going up in the coming months, as we celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. We’re going to see Union Jacks cut into various shapes and sizes, hanging from bits of string and rope. Simple but effective. For the purpose of celebration.
It’s funny that we celebrate by dangling things from on high. But we do. And it works. We like it. We do it at Christmas: in our homes and in our streets with twinkly lights. We celebrate with dangly bits.
Of course there are many other ways to celebrate. Many other ways to be thankful. Many other ways to rejoice. What’s important is that we really do celebrate, because there’s something deep inside of us that wants to express thank for things that are good. In the end, that’s what celebration is all about: being thankful for good things. And there are so many good things in life to celebrate: people, achievements, milestones, community things, birthdays, changed lives, homecomings, festivals, God. In fact it’s all about God, really. Because he is good. He is a good God. And celebration is about being thankful for all that is good.
The goodness of God is crucial to God’s nature and to our celebration. The bible is crystal clear on that (eg. Psalm 100:5). Many people know that. But not everyone, including some who claim to follow Jesus. Quite often I come across people who think that God is good to most people – apart from them. That can’t be true. Either he is good, or he’s not. Which is it?
Bill Johnson is helpful on this. He puts it like this:
‘Let’s get this straight: God is good all the time. The devil is bad all the time’
Pretty black and white – but actually very helpful. If God is good, all the time, which he is, then he deserves to be praised and celebrated. So start now. Today. Celebrate with your life. Celebrate with your praise. But find other creative ways to do so, especially as Easter approaches – the greatest Christian festival. Even consider using dangly bits to celebrate. Because God is good. All the time.