Daily Devotions

“But we had to celebrate and rejoice” Luke 15:32 Jim Thompson, Betty Moser, Kathy Huls


“But we had to celebrate and rejoice” Luke 15:32 Jim Thompson, Betty Moser, Kathy Huls

Jesus says it more than once. “There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents...” (Luke 15:7) “There is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10) “We had to celebrate and rejoice!” Jesus was sitting with sinners, eating a meal of table fellowship. Jesus regularly sat with sinners. It was His way, His pattern, His strategy for bringing the Kingdom of God to the lost and broken world. And for that strategy He was roundly criticized by those who saw themselves as “righteous.” He was questioned by those who were the serious keepers and practitioners of “God’s rules.”

Sometimes the more religious among us seem so serious that the joy has gone out of them. Somehow, they/we forget the verse, “Let us rejoice and be glad in Him.” (Psalm 118:24) They/we seriously worship God. I can remember some of the solemn saints who seriously loved God among whom I grew up. I have to say I don’t think I saw some of them ever smile in church. I know they were capable. But faith and God and Church had become so important and what might have seemed like so much work that they had left the celebration behind. (Maybe that’s why I love to laugh in church.)

“We had to celebrate and rejoice!” Do we have it within us to rejoice over the lost being found, the sinner being forgiven, the disreputable receiving Grace from God?

“Celebrate the Lord of Love” is a line from a song I like to sing. “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound...” “I’m Alive! I’m Alive because He lives...” “He’s Alive! He’s Alive and I’m forgiven, Heavens gates are open wide!”

Worship is meant to lift the Name of God to lift the Name and honor the reputation of God Who is “gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” (Psalm 145:8, 103:8, 86:5,15, Nehemiah 9:17, Numbers 14;18, Exodus :6) So it’s only right to rejoice and be glad! We have to celebrate when God’s Word and promise has touched one of us so deeply that we actually repent! Even if the repentance lasts for just a moment. There is joy in heaven. May we let the joy shower to us on earth!

Pastor Roy Christell

Connecting with God, Connecting with Others and Connecting with what God is doing in the World