Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.” Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them. Nehemiah 8:10-12 NIV
God wants his people to enjoy him and celebrate His dealings with them. This can be done corporately or individually. Many celebrations (feasts) were instituted by the Lord in the Old Testament. These were done to commemorate significant events in Israel’s history. In the New Testament God instituted the Lord’s Supper as a way of remembering Christ’s death and sacrifice for us.
The celebration of the Old Testament feasts was originally intended to bring joy and encouragement as the celebrants remembered God’s dealings with them. Unfortunately, the keeping of the feasts became more and more legalistic and their original meaning was lost.
- The people of God and those of this world celebrate in different ways. What is stated about the contrast in celebration styles in the following passages? — Nehemiah 8:1-12; Daniel 5:1-6
- Celebrating the Lord’s Supper (communion) is a reminder of Christ’s death for our sin. What is said in the following passages concerning celebrating the Lord’s Supper? — Luke 22:7-20; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34
Question to ponder: What should your attitude be when celebrating the Lord’s Supper?
Passages for further reflection: Leviticus 23:1-44; Mark 14:22-26