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Feasting & Festivals (20 November)

Morning Encounter:

Introduction:

The Christmas season is upon us! Parties are being planned, decorations and lights brought down from the attic, food and drink is being ordered and stocked up. Celebration is an important spiritual practice for Christians, but often overlooked for being too hedonistic. But God calls us to celebrate (with him) and to express thanks, gratitude and delight in his provision and love for us. During this party season, let’s explore the practice of celebration.

Read: 

Look toward the mountains,
    people of Judah!
Here comes a messenger
    with good news of peace.
Celebrate your festivals.
    Keep your promises to God.
Your evil enemies are destroyed
and will never again
    invade your country

(Nahum 1.15)

Reflect: 

Throughout the Scriptures we are reminded of the importance of festivals and celebrations throughout the year. These are times where God’s people gathered together to offer sacrifices and thanks and to renew their commitment to him. Like these festivals our seasonal celebrations (including Christmas) are an important part of our calendar, occasions to remember God together.

Respond: 

A prayer: Lord as we approach the Christmas season and celebrations, I pray you would help me see through the superficiality of this time and once again reflect on the wonder of God coming to be with us through the birth of your Son Jesus.

Midday Meditation:

‘We engage in celebration when we enjoy ourselves, our life, our world, in conjunction with our faith and confidence in God’s greatness, beauty and goodness. We concentrate on our life and world as God’s work and God’s gift to us.’

(Dallas Willard)

Evening Reflection:

Let nothing disturb you.
Let nothing frighten you.
All things pass away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things.
Those who have God
Find they lack nothing;
God alone suffices.

(St. Teresa of Avila)

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