Shout Alleluia!

A few days ago, while scrolling through Santa’s workshop, also known as Amazon, a graphic sweatshirt caught my eye. It wasn’t the color or pattern that drew my attention; in fact, it was a simple black sweatshirt with capital letters in white. The quote on the front is what caused me to pause. It read, “If being a Christian is boring, then you’re doing it wrong.”

I agree, I thought. The life of a Christian should be anything but boring. And yet, at times, I turn down God’s invitation to fully live. Many of us do. It’s as if we’ve forgotten God’s grace and what it means.

Our lives are our message to the world. But more importantly, our lives are our message to God; our worship of Him. According to Saint Augustine, “The Christian should be an alleluia from head to foot.” Hmmm….what message does the world hear from me? What message does my life send to God? Does it shout alleluia from head to toe? Too often, I’m afraid, my life shouts that I’ve forgotten God’s grace; or I’m too busy to appreciate it.

Grace – that’s where it seems to start. Actually, that’s what it’s all about. When we keep the true meaning of God’s grace always tucked in our hearts and on the forefront of our minds, it leads us to celebrate. From head to toe, it is then that we shout alleluia.

As I reminded myself of this, I began to jot down reasons to celebrate. These I’ll keep somewhere handy so that I’m continually reminded, despite daily struggles and trials, that as Christians, we have so much to celebrate!

Some of the many reasons for Christians to celebrate can be found in Romans 8, verses 1-39:

  • There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
  • In Jesus, we have been set free from sin and death.
  • We can set our minds on the Spirit that is life and peace.
  • God’s Spirit dwells in us and empowers us.
  • God has adopted us; we can call him “Abba, Father.”
  • We are heirs of God and co-heirs with Jesus Christ.
  • The sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory is to be revealed to us.
  • The Spirit prays for us in our weakness.
  • Christ intercedes for us.
  • We have been called to a life in which God promises that He will cause all things to work together for our good.
  • We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.
  • How much more will God, who gave us His Son, give us all things?
  • Nothing shall separate us from the love of Christ.

Wow! Taste and see that the Lord is good, indeed! (Psalm 34:8)

The Greek word for celebrate means: to make merry; to cheer; to live joyously; to be glad; to rejoice. Psalm 150 gives us examples of how we can practice celebration. We can sing, dance and shout. Sometimes, even a marked appreciation for life’s ordinary moments can be celebration. Just yesterday, I sat reveling in my car as I watched the most beautiful ruby crowned kinglet fluttering ever so quickly back and forth between my rear-view mirror and a nearby branch. It was a simple moment of celebrating the extraordinary world God made for us to live in!

Celebration can also look like being present in the moment to enjoy friends and family. Jesus Himself gave us a good example of this. He spent time with children, sat as Mary listened at His feet and enjoyed a wedding feast. He didn’t let the trials and worries of the world keep him from celebrating. He appreciated the beautiful even in the midst of the broken. Perhaps Jesus wanted us to see what I’ve learned from my own experiences: celebrating in the midst of difficulties makes God’s goodness and grace even easier to see.

Celebrating. It’s something we do.  We laugh. We sing. We dance. We play. We experience. Consider the words of the psalmist in Psalm 150: “Praise Him with the sounding trumpet; praise Him with harp and lyre; praise Him with timbrel and dancing; praise Him with the strings and pipe;  praise Him with the clash of cymbals; praise Him with resounding cymbals; Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” Doesn’t sound boring to me. Indeed, life is never boring when you’re walking with Jesus.

Dear Lord, may the message of our lives shout alleluia from head to toe in celebration of You!

~ Nicole Bryan has been a member of LIFE Fellowship for over 10 years and holds a M.A. in Biblical Studies from Dallas Theological Seminary. She and her husband Callan have three children. 

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