Always a Reason

August 1, 2021
By Elise Bernhardt, NextGen Minister

Working with children and students, there is always a reason to celebrate something. There’s always a holiday, a birthday, a milestone, or a change in season that we’re working toward, and I love it! I love to celebrate, to laugh, and to have fun together. I think it’s part of the reason I’m so drawn to work with our children and students. Recently, however, I’ve realized something about celebrating.

We always have a reason to celebrate. I’m not talking about all those birthdays, milestones, holidays, and season changes, although I do love those. As Christians, we have an abiding reason to celebrate in the abiding love and faithfulness of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

God is who He says He is. He does what He says He’ll do. That’s what faithfulness is – consistent and dependable fulfillment of a promise. That’s why we can celebrate. When God promises that “the boundaries fall for me in pleasant places,” I can celebrate. I don’t have to know where the boundaries will be, because I know the Surveyor is Good. When God promises “I will never leave you or forsake you,” I can celebrate. The end may be unknown; the journey may look perilous, but I can celebrate because I know the Author is Good.

That’s how I felt last Sunday evening at about 5pm. Can I just confess something? I knew the prayer rally last Sunday would be good, but I also really liked the idea of heading home after playing whiffle ball in the gym with our students. I was tired, and, truth be told, a little sweaty. Still, I arrived in the Sanctuary at 6:08pm and decided to make a conscious choice to trust and celebrate God’s faithfulness. I’m so glad I did.

Praying and worshipping with everyone on Sunday night helped me to move my eyes from the storm back to focus on Jesus.  It reminded me of God’s faithfulness to his people, over and over. When God’s people come to him, “humble themselves, pray, seek [His] face, and turn from their wicked ways,” then God is consistently faithful to hear, to forgive, and to heal. Jesus never turned a person away who approached Him in humility, asking to be made whole. Our God is faithful.

I wholeheartedly believe that we, as a church community, are standing at the precipice of an extraordinary move of God. As his people, while we continue to invite Him in, we can also begin to celebrate! We can celebrate because He’s good. We can celebrate because He makes His people whole. We can celebrate because He’s faithful and true. We can celebrate because we’re His.

Celebrating alone is great, but I would love to invite you all to celebrate with me! Our whole church has an opportunity to have lunch after the 11:15 service next Sunday, August 8, and connect for food, fellowship, and fun. Let’s come together knowing that, when we do, we come under God’s faithfulness and goodness; we come together as His people, inheriting His promises, and stewarding His kingdom. See you there!