I was thinking about birthdays the other day. Children long for the day that is theirs, they can be the Princess or King for the day. Often the family lets the “birthday boy/girl” pick what the family will eat for dinner, what movie or television show the whole family will watch, etc.
Of course, there are also the decorations, streamers, balloons, and banners …
… and the birthday cake (or pie or cookies or whatever special treat the birthday child orders) …
.. or enjoys!
We celebrate birthdays when the child is growing into a youth.
We celebrate when the youth is racing toward adulthood.
And adults enjoy birthday recognition, even while recognizing that age waits for no person!
Additionally, for some of us who are animal/pet lovers, we may even celebrate the birthday of our domesticated children. Here is Goldie, one of our greyhounds, whose birthday happened to fall on a “Meet and Greet” Saturday – so she put her Birthday Princess hat on and provided all the other hounds with treats for her “party”.
We celebrate birthdays in our culture because we believe that recognizing the day of our birth is important. For one day in the year, we are important just because we exist. We celebrate that we were born to do whatever destiny lies ahead of us. No matter where on the chronological chart we may fall, young or not so young, we all have a job to do for all of our days. (Even Goldie who was a therapy dog at a nursing home.)
Birthday celebrations are not limited to our culture or to this century, or even this millennia! In the Old Testament of the Bible, in Genesis 40:20, we read that on “Pharaoh’s birthday, he made a feast for all his servants and lifted up the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker among his servants.”
In the New Testament, we read of Herod’s birthday celebration which, unfortunately, turned into a drunken mess that ended up with the beheading of John the Baptist. Matthew 14 and Mark 6.
Interestingly, there is no indication from Scripture that Jesus ever spoke of birthdays … rather, when He speaks of birth, it is our spiritual birth that is important.
In John chapter 3, Jesus talks about entering the kingdom of God and expressly states that:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. So not marvel that I said to you, “You must be born again.’”
So, when was your spiritual birthday? Do you remember when you were born again; when the Spirit touched your heart and entered your life? When Jesus Christ became your Lord and Savior?
Celebrate! Jesus said “I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7. Even the heavenly beings celebrate when one becomes a new person in Christ, when he/she is born again.
Celebrate! You are God’s and He has you in the palm of His hand. While there may not be a physical present you can open, rest assured that you have been given the gift of spiritual blessings in Christ including eternal life. Ephesians 1:3. And, that, my beloved, is a gift that will not be returned and will never wear out!
Celebrate! May my life/your life be a celebration of my love for my Savior, Redeemer and King, the Lord Jesus Christ.