Several days ago, Canadian mogul skiier Alexandre Bilodeau landed the first Olympic gold medal earned on home turf. Canucks nearly went wild, cheering and clapping and crying when his score was announced. It’s been great fun to celebrate this young athlete’s success.
The word celebrate is mentioned several times in Exodus 13. In one instance, the Israelites were commanded to celebrate, but for a reason even greater than winning Olympic gold.
“So Moses said to the people, ‘This is a day to remember forever – the day you left Egypt, the place of your slavery. Today the Lord has brought you out by the power of his mighty hand’…You must explain to your children, ‘I am celebrating what the Lord did for me when I left Egypt.’ This annual festival will be a visible sign to you, like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. Let it remind you always to recite this teaching of the Lord: ‘With a strong hand, the Lord rescued you from Egypt’” (vv. 3,8,9).
What were the people commanded to celebrate? Their release from slavery. Imagine! God told them to throw a party to commemorate their rescue from bondage, made possible by His mighty hand. And this wasn’t a one-time affair. This was an annual event to ensure the people remembered where they’d come from and appreciated the freedom they now enjoyed.
Believers have every reason to celebrate, too! We’ve been released from Egypt, in a sense, because we’re no longer slaves to our sinful nature. We’ve been forgiven, set free. We’re heaven-bound, guided by Almighty God who promises to protect us, provide for us, and surround us with His unfailing love along the way.
Wouldn’t it be fun to set a day aside each year to celebrate our spiritual freedom? We could invite family and friends for a picnic or for a nice meal and an evening of games. We could sing praise and worship songs and share testimonies together of what God has taught us in the past year. Hmmm – I like this idea. Maybe I ought to give it try.
If you were to set aside a day each year to celebrate your freedom in Christ, what would you do to make it special? What would be the main reason you’d celebrate?