Celebrate!

TODAY’S SPECIAL: Ezra 3:7-12

TO CHEW ON: "With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord: 'He is good: his love to Israel endures forever' And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid." Ezra 3:11

Haggai’s message to put God first got everyone’s attention. Zerubbabel called the priests together. They decided to again worship God even though there was no temple in which to do it. They built an altar outside and again made the sacrifices and kept the feasts the way God had said.

Next they took a collection of money for building supplies. What a busy time followed, clearing away the rubble of the old temple and bringing in logs, cut stones and bricks for the new one.

Finally the day came when the foundation of the new temple was in place. That day they decided to celebrate. The Priests and Levites got dressed in their special clothes. They brought their trumpets and cymbals and praised God with singing and music like in the time of King David. Then all the people watching gave a shout of praise. God’s house was back!

What things do we celebrate? Certainly a new church is a good reason for a celebration. But we don’t have to wait for something so big to have a praise party. Baby dedications, baptisms, Christmas, Easter, weddings, birthdays – these are all good times to praise God and celebrate.

PRAYER: Dear God, You are so good to me. I want to include You in all my celebrations. Today I thank and praise You for __________ Amen.

MORE: Celebration Favorites

1. What events and special times do you celebrate in your home? In your church?
2. What things (like guests, decorations, foods, activities) make those celebrations special?
3. What’s the best celebration you remember?

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