<a As I drove through our local college campus, I saw in the distance a young lady sitting on a porch crying. She must have just heard some bad news. Although I did not stop, my heart went out to her and I realized that every day in every town someone is hurting.
The situation mentioned above can be found in every community in the world. It is obvious that people are hurting. It might be the break up of a relationship, loss of a loved one, physical suffering or the heartbreak of a family member in trouble. Pain is all around us.
This past week we celebrated Thanksgiving. Unfortunately the holidays do not eliminate pain. There will still be those who hear bad news. Sometimes the worst news comes at times of celebration. It happened to Jesus. A joyful entry into Jerusalem ended in on a cross a week later.
“And when they drew near to Jerusalem, and came unto Bethphage, to the mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying unto them, ‘Go into the village that is just ahead of you, and straightway you shall find a donkey tied, and a colt with her: untie them, and bring them to me. And if any one says anything to you, you shall say, The Lord has need of them; and immediately he will send them.’ Now this is to happen that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying, ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King is coming to you, Meek, and riding upon a donkey, And upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.’ And the disciples went, and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey, and the colt, and put on them their garments; and he sat thereon. And most of the crowd spread their garments in the road; and others cut branches from the trees, and spread them in the road. And the crowds that went before him, and that followed, cried out, saying, ‘Hosanna [save now!] to the son of David: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.’ And when he was come into Jerusalem, the entire city was stirred, saying, ‘Who is this?’ And the crowds said, ‘This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee’” (Mt. 21:1-11; cf. Mk. 11:1-11; Lk. 19:29-44; Jn. 12:12-19).
Let’s celebrated the good days while we have them. Followers of Jesus are not exempt from hard bumps in life.
Let me suggest a few things to celebrate today:
1. Be thankful for another day of life. Each day is a gift.
2. Be thankful for the journey God has put us on. HE is in control.
3. Be thankful for direction and meaning in life.
4. Be thankful for those who have helped along the way.
5. Be thankful for those who love and care for us.
6. Be thankful for those God has put in our lives to care for.
7. Be thankful for the opportunity to worship openly.
This is a start to a list that could go on and on. What would you add to the list?
Let’s make this a week of focus on what is good. Let’s be intentional about finding things we can celebrate.