The other day when we took our grandchildren to buy Christmas gifts at Walmart, the youngest one did something unusual: walking through the aisle, he picked up every toy he liked! We had of course told him that he could only get one but he just went on a shopping spree.  Seeing that Santy, then, asked him, “You only get one gift, so why are you picking all these toys?”  He thought for a moment then answered, “For celebration.” Obviously, his understanding of the word was different from that of ours but whatever it was, to him, Christmas was a celebration and celebration called for lots of toys! 

In a way, coming to church is like a celebration.  Besides celebrating Christmas and Easter, every Sunday during service we celebrate the greatness, the goodness, and the glory of God.  After service, we celebrate—we show our joy—meeting our brothers and sisters. And like other celebration, the more the merrier. Lots of laughter and lots of words. Unfortunately, the more words, the more chances of stumbling into sin—saying something that hurt others.  The same problem that plagued the church in Corinth can plague us today, if we are not careful.  With the psalmist (141:3), we should pray, “Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Last night Tante Betsy left us for good; she and Oom Arief will settle down in Jakarta and will not return to the US anymore.  It’s nice to see her and fellowship with her again for two weeks after such a long break.  For years they came to church every Wednesday and Sunday; as far as I can remember, they never missed our annual picnics and retreats either.  We had lots of good and joyful times, celebrating the Lord’s Day and our days together. We thank God for them and we will keep them in our prayers.  If we don’t see them on this side of heaven, we’ll definitely see them on that side of heaven someday.  Each time we meet calls for a celebration, indeed. 

Pastor Paul