Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dec | 05 | Dancing Days and Party Places!


Title:- Dancing Days and Party Places!

Psalm 42:4 
Take courage, my soul! Do you remember those times (but how could you ever forget them!) when you led a great procession to the Temple on festival days, singing with joy, praising the Lord? Why then be downcast? Why be discouraged and sad? Hope in God! I shall yet praise him again. Yes, I shall again praise him for his help.

Probably never before in history has leisure been termed an industry. That is, an industry that can be described as: ‘a composition of works and services that manufacture relaxation and diversions from the mundane and the ordinary for millions of people, which subsequently provides a vast profit margin to pay wages, satisfy stockholders and support further investment!’ From the point of view of the leisure industry, all the days that we the consumer spend imbibing on the aforesaid services during our vacations, are considered by them, as not just holidays but ‘holy’ days; for without our happy and full use of the leisure industry, it would collapse. And great would be the fall thereof! The 42 square miles (and growing) of Disney Land in South Florida is but a small example of how large this industry has become. Leisure, vacation time, holy days and holidays! What is that all about anyway?

The Holy days of feasting and celebration in the Old Testament might be summed up under three main titles.

1. Passover,
2. Pentecost and
3. Pilgrimage.

In many respects, these three celebrations are linked to an agrarian society and are therefore cyclical, expected and allowable in their context of the natural seasons of life, for there is in nature after all, a time to work and a time to rest. In specific respects, these three feasts are also the commanded remembrances of God. Three times then, God in effect commands that the people of Israel, “Take time to remember and celebrate My redemption, My provision, and your journey. Oh and when you do, be happy, eat, drink and dance!”An examination of these Holy days of God then shows them to be focused on a linked remembrance to what He has done, what He is doing, and especially to where we are going with Him, for it is He who has redeemed us, has provided us with His presence and His power having placed our feet upon the King’s Highway setting our feet and our face towards the heavenly Jerusalem, Zion itself, the city of God, even our very own eternal home! We need to both remember and rejoice in this.Now let’s be honest, our journeying to heaven means so very little to many of us, for the sense of anticipation and celebration that we should have in the remembrance of these things is frankly just not there! Why is this? Can such apathy toward our eternal home be remedied and if so, then how do we do that and what difference would it make to our leisure and life if it were most rightly remedied?

Well, the Holy days of God, are for our blessing. They are our festival days. They are for the comfort of our soul, the preservation of our sanity and the good of our bodies. In this, these days are there to serve us. Remember that that Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath! Unfortunately, we believe the leisure industry is there to serve us! If they can make a few bob, a few dollars out of doing it, then all the better for them we say, but their real purpose is to provide us with comfort,♠ peace and the prosperity of body soul and spirit that we so desperately long for. And if you believe that friends, then you’ll believe anything! No, regarding the leisure industry, it is just that, an industry. So, we the leisure consumer, are there to service that industry. Not the other way around. We are there for it! The leisure industry exists essentially to make the parting with our money and the escalation of their profits, as pleasant as possible for us. The Leisure industry is not about us, it is about our money. No wonder our holidays so rarely refresh us and prosper us on our spiritual journey.

The contrast is that God’s Bible Holy-days are about Him and us but our industry driven holidays are about them and us, but mostly about them and even more about us and I don’t think this can be changed. Maybe it shouldn’t be? Maybe we should just accept it for what it is. Treat the animal for what it is. Enjoy the ride. Take that vacation. However, don’t expect to get closer to God on your holidays! Don’t expect to feel more attuned to His gifts, His power, or your journey. They’re not that kind of Holy days that the leisure industry is providing you with after all! God wants you to take your spent self and be renewed for the journey. The leisure industry, simply wants you to spend.

How can we remedy our own often exhausted situation, our own lack of true spiritual reflection, true rest and remembrance, with the true impartation of power which leads to the embracing of the next steps of our long journey onwards and upwards? Well, maybe we need to look at our places of party and yes, I am talking about the local church gathering.

You see, if the gatherings of the church on the Lord’s Day are rarely marked by remembrance, rejoicing, and rededication but mostly marked by stricture, unprepared-for study and sullenness, then dear friend, you will die instead of dance. I truly believe that even the very thought of the gathering of the church of God should be marked by a dancing expectation among us. How about you and your church? I mean, what are you doing on the Lord’s Day? Dying or dancing? After all, how many of your neighbours are so amazed at what God has done for you on a Sunday, that when they see you on a Monday morning they think you have been on spectacular break? Ask yourself what thankfulness you might take to the party on Sunday? What prayerful preparation can you be making for the day? What offering are you bringing? What goodness shall you share? For maybe if in the local church, our true place of party, we started providing each other with days of dancing remembrance, making the Holy day of Sunday the greatest time of the week, then maybe, just maybe, both we and the world would never be the same again? Why not make each gathering on the Lord’s Day something to remember. Be sure to thoroughly prepare for each Sunday and make it a party to remember. Maybe then it shall be a true day of rest.

Listen:- And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them -walking, leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God. Then they knew that it was he who sat begging alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. Acts 3:7-10 

Pray: - Lord, thank You for these Your holy days and by the power of Your Holy Spirit, please mark them in my weekly calendar, by signs of life and liberty and dancing community, in Jesus name I pray, amen.

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