Celebration

by Sean Ewing

The large conference room on the lower level of Target Field was nearly ready, people were still busy making sure the food was in order on the tables and several people were making final arrangements of the chairs in various locations. While this was going on some of the invitees were beginning to arrive for the celebration. The air was thick with anticipation as the good ole boys from days gone by were together again. The boys of that long summer convened to recollect the former glory days. The handshakes and hugs begin, then laughter and smiles. Then, the “remember when” conversations begin, followed by more laughter, high fives and hugs. Remembering those that are no longer with us and remembering the contributions they made. Many commented on how much they miss those that have passed, but their legacy remains and they celebrate and toast those that have passed and their former glory. The room continues to fill with conversation and arrivals, finally they are all together again.

It will be 30 years this Autumn since the Minnesota Twins won the 1987 World Series. The team gathered those from the ’87 World Series team at Target Field in Minneapolis to remember and celebrate the victory.  I was at game 7 in the Metrodome, one of the noisiest places ever to play a baseball game. As a lifelong Twins fan seeing the team win game 7 was a sight to behold. So many years of losing and now finally the team’s first World Series victory. After the game, I was out on the streets with my friend as thousands of people were celebrating the win. After some time, we finally made it to the parking ramp, from the top we both looked down onto the streets of Minneapolis and the amount of people celebrating. I still remember looking at my friend and saying, really? With a final gaze, we both just shrugged a little bit and headed home.

Sports teams love to gather and celebrate their “greatness” Have you considered how great God is? The Bible is full of verbiage describing the greatness of God. Here is a small example in (emphasis is mine) “Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness. Look at some of the words here as the Psalmist is working to describe God, great, mighty, glorious, majesty, wonderful and righteousness. God is truly great, as we can see in this one small example!

All of this makes me ask myself the question, what am I celebrating? What are you celebrating? Are we more involved in celebrating God or other things? Are we dancing like marionettes swaying to a symphony of destruction that are the sinful pleasures of this life? Are we dragging around a ball and chain of persistent worldliness and unrepentant sin? Are you asking the question “is change really possible?” It is impossible to have a vibrant relationship with Jesus while continuing to engage in unrepentant sin. There is a biblical model of the process of change. This process is described in “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” The process of real change includes teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. The Word of God is rich in examples of the Christian’s need to put off old behavior and put on new behavior. The choice before us is whether we will allow Scripture to determine our responses or will we continue to seek the world we live in for answers. The greatness of God far surpasses what this world has to offer!

I will say up front here, any time spent in God’s Word is time well spent. But I am not talking about taking a dip here, for the process of change to really take root in our lives, I am saying it’s time to put on our big boy and girl pants and head out to the deep water. In God’s Word, you will begin to see and understand how great God is and the hope that there can be real meaningful change. Along with time well spent with God’s word I see some practical keys to help us deal with temptations and sin in our lives. First, as a believer know what He has done for you. You are free from sin! You are dead to sin! Reckon/count your position in Christ into your daily life situations. We are not our own! We must serve/obey our Master. We serve/obey out of gratitude and love to the One who first loved us and gave Himself for us! The Christian life is a supernatural life. It, like salvation, is a gift from God in Christ. He initiates it and provides its power. We must respond in repentance and faith, both initially and daily. Don’t play around with sin. Label it for what it is. Turn from it; flee from it. Don’t put yourself into the place of temptation. Sin in the believer is an addiction that can be broken, but it takes knowledge of the gospel, the presence of the Spirit, time, effort, and volition.

If we spend meaningful time in God’s Word, our yearning for Him will increase and the grip of sin will decrease. God is great, He is righteous, glorious, His greatness no one can fathom! God is vast and endless! God is so worthy of our praise and obedience, God is very much worth celebrating! I love this quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” That is my attempt here, assistance in yearning for God!

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall commend your works to another,
and shall declare your mighty acts.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. (ESV)

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, (ESV)

There was a time when Sean Ewing was a corporate cube farm dweller managing IT projects. These days he occupies his home basement office working as an IT project manager. His passion has nothing to do with the conundrum of managing software development. Rather, his true passion is living and serving to bring God glory.