The month of May was by far in my personal opinion a ‘Celebration’ month as we had many friends and family celebrating their birthdays! Both our sons turned 18 & 21 too!
We have all grown up with the joy of celebrating birthdays an this is truly something we look forward to each year! Pressures tend to mount up within family circles during these times, the more important or significant the number, the bigger should be the ‘celebration’ and the more expensive should be the ‘birthday gift’!
Obviously for me with two boys reaching 2 important milestones, the pressure began to mount up, we must do this, we must do that, we must get each of them this, we must get each of them that and, I needed to pause, step back, reflect and ask myself what should we honestly do!
As Christians and as believers in the one true God, what do we want to hold ourselves to, should we look to what could be ‘Biblical standards’ and be guided or, should we move with the flow and follow the usual Cultural standards that everyone expects us to do – after all, it’s just a birthday celebration right?
I then did what was first in my mind, a little biblical’ research to see how birthdays were or are meant to be celebrated and, was able to uncover a few events. Interesting however was that of what I did uncover, 2 events had death assigned to the celebration!
Now it came to pass on the third day, which was Pharaoh’s birthday, that he made a feast for all his servants; and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. Then he restored the chief butler to his butlership again, and he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand. But he hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. Yet the chief butler did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.
His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom.. Job 1: 4-5
But when Herod’s birthday was celebrated, the daughter of Herodias danced before them and pleased Herod. Therefore he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. So she, having been prompted by her mother, said, “Give me John the Baptist’s head here on a platter.” Mathew 14:6-7
The greatest of all celebrations recorded that, even to this day is celebrated, (probably gone way beyond its actual meaning, totally misused and inappropriately commercialized) is the birth and celebration of our redeemer:
When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Mathew 2: 10-11
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2: 10-12
As I reflect, I am convinced that yes, we are born, it is a great day, it is a day to remember and be joyful, yet is has more to the remembrance. God is gracious, He continues to extend our life each day:
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart; Jeremiah 1:5
This is an assurance that we are set apart and that it is a daily blessing! We are here, placed on this earth for creating an impact and being a blessing to others. When we know this and understand our purpose, the question we must ask is ‘Are we truly enjoying our family and the things God has given Us?’
We are here to serve Him and to serve His people. Being alive and being here on earth means that there is another chapter to our story. An agenda, with a purpose. A destiny established long before. Every year on this earth is a blessing and a reminder that there is still work to be done, that our capacity has NOT been exhausted and that there is still more that He has placed in us to GIVE to this world.
I believe that what matters most is that there is still so much more to DO! God has not closed the book of our life yet and we must fulfil and finish what He has started in us. Yes, a birthday is a great reminder to help us understand if we are moving forward for Him and a great celebration when we can invite others to have a personal encounter with our creator!