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Can you believe it’s almost August?
“Aaron, don’t rush it!”
I’m not trying to rush it, I just like to give us fair warning so we don’t get caught off guard.
It’s way too easy for the future to surprise us. As a biblical family counselor I often work with parents who were caught off guard in their parenting. They were certain they had more time, only to find their children got older and older and — before too long — all of the grand goals they had for their parenting were left far behind.
I don’t want that for any of us. I’d much rather be the guy saying, “Your life is but a vapor, and then it vanishes away, so redeem the time because the days are evil.”
We all have less time than we like to think, and we need to be intentional if we’re going to worship God with every moment of every day.
And that’s why we need to be reminded that July is coming to a close. We will only ever have this one chance to use this July to God’s honor and glory. So, let’s stay intentional.
And speaking of worship, I hope you’ve been enjoying our most recent series called “What is Worship?” If you didn’t catch the first two parts, check them out, and then join us later on as we wrap it up. We’ll be getting into Part 3 next week, and then we’ll tackle Part 4 at the beginning of our second Celebratory Year starting in September.
Oh, but there’s so much to do before then, including preparing for, celebrating, and discipling on Family Day!
Lastly, come follow us on social media. We do our best to point your mind toward celebrating God all throughout the day. We’d love to redeem your feed, and we hope following us on Facebook and Instagram helps you become a better disciple of God.
Now, let’s talk about this Family Day thing.
I’ve found that most Christians aren’t familiar with Family Day, and that makes sense since it was mostly an Arizona thing.
Family Day just so happens to be the 14th state-recognized holiday in Arizona, and it was signed into law in 1978. Since then it’s caught on in other states including where I currently live — North Carolina.
But there are many other countries that have their own Family Day including Australia, Canada, Israel, and Vietnam to name a few.
But — regardless of where you live — the idea behind Family Day is similar to that of days that celebrate the individual family members. Yet it’s also very different because it’s not about the parts of the family, it’s about the significance of the whole.
Now, we’re going to talk about how to prepare for, celebrate, and disciple during Family Day, but I want to start by helping us understand why it may be valuable for you and your family to worship God by observing Family Day this year.
1. Why should we observe Family Day?
Travel back in time with me to the dawn of creation. After creating a cosmos capable of sustaining human life, God created a single human being. God created Adam first for a couple key reasons.
First, God wanted Adam to experience a relationship with Him before introducing other humans. This would set an important precedent that the most important relationship a person can ever have is one with his Creator.
But God also wanted Adam to recognize that he was incomplete without a helper. God wanted Adam and Eve to recognize how badly they would need each other and how integral their relationship was going to be to helping them flourish in their relationship with God.
And so, on Day 6, God made Eve, and — for the first time in human history — a family was created.
Before cities, governments, teams, and even organized religion . . . God created a family, and immediately God tasked the new family with bringing more people into the family.
Every human being on earth is part of that Genesis family. And yet, every time a child leaves his or her parents and cleaves to his or her spouse, a unique family is created.
The Scripture-wide doctrine of the family is complicated and glorious. It includes the miracle of procreation, but it’s also the fertile soil of discipleship, and families that please the Lord are living illustrations of the trinity as well as God’s relationship with His church.
The family is truly a miraculous unit that no Christian should take for granted.
And this is why our world is still trying to dismantle the family. They’ve been doing it since Cain murdered his brother, and they’re viscously trying to tear it apart today. Broken families, perverted collections of people who claim to be a family — it’s the world’s best attempt to come up with something better than God’s original design of a married man, woman, and their kids.
And this is why I believe followers of Christ would do well to meditate on God’s design for the family. Of course, I believe our study of the family should last far more than just one day, but setting aside the first Sunday in August for a special emphasis on serving the family and celebrating God in light of the family is a great place to start.
Now, before we get into the details, once again I feel the need to observe that not everyone under the sound of my voice may feel like they have a family worth celebrating.
There are very likely parents who are having a desperately arduous time with their kids right now, grown children who are estranged from their abusive parents, husbands and wives at odds . . . and — here’s the thing — I’ve had to say this a lot lately, sin hurts.
That’s an unescapable reality.
But — here’s the thing — when people use man’s sin to justify not worshipping God . . . they can justify whatever they want.
We don’t reject God’s existence because there’s brokenness in the world. We don’t refuse to give Christ the preeminence because bad things happen, and I’m going to have to unashamedly and unapologetically proclaim that you must not allow yourself to not celebrate God simply because people in your family have sinned against you.
If we stop celebrating God at church because people in the church have sinned against us, God will no longer be God of the church.
If we stop worshipping God in how we vote simply because our godless government abuses us, then what does that say about us?
Now, I know not all of you are struggling in your family right now or in the past, but for those of you who are — you seriously need to reconsider celebrating Family Day to the honor and glory of the God Who created your family for your greatest good and His greatest glory.
And here’s how you can do that no matter what the current state of your family is . . .
I strongly encourage you to head over to CelebrationOfGod.com and download our Family Day Bible Reading. Take time to meditate on God’s creation of the family, His will for the family, and His promise to give the family exactly what they need to be exactly what they need to be.
And then spend some soul-searching time with God in prayer. Thank Him for knowing what’s best. Praise Him for only giving you what you need to be conformed to the image of Christ. Talk with Him about how you can make Him the preeminent focus in your family today.
And then put it on the calendar that you are going to worship God on the first Sunday in August.
And — while you’re at it — decorate your Celebration Wall with some key passages from the Family Day Bible Reading, pictures of your family, a prayer list of those who need the Lord, and even a bunch of family blessings for which you’re thankful.
Every family is a precious gift of God, and we should all strive to see the wonderful blessings He’s given us in our family — both our immediate and extended families.
The key to the Preparation stage is all about getting our hearts ready to truly worship God. That means we need a heart of joy, peace, contentment, and thanksgiving when it comes to our families.
I love that these family days like Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, and Children’s Day, are on Sunday. I didn’t always feel this way . . . as a kid I hated it when special days fell on Sunday . . . but — let’s be honest — I was living for me back then. I wasn’t living for God.
And now that I see all of these special Family Days landing on Sunday when we gather together with the Body of Christ in order to celebrate Him . . . I couldn’t imagine anything more beautiful.
So, start celebrating Family Day by going to church.
I think it would be a great idea for pastors to take a day to remind the body of God’s expectations for the family. I think this would be a great small group focus. I also think this would be an amazing day for the church to put on a community family day event.
This would be a great time to invest in the families in the community by giving them a good time, introducing them to the local body of believers, and looking for opportunities to build redemptive relationships with them.
And even if your church doesn’t take this fantastic opportunity to connect with the community, your family can celebrate God on this wonderful day. Read the family passages, thank God for His blessings in your family, play together, serve each other to God’s honor and glory, and have a great time reveling in the beautiful gift that is family.
And — of course — don’t forget . . .
Think of this — when it comes to Family Day in the future, how your disciplees think and act is largely going to be influenced by you. You have a chance to not only set your disciplees up to really enjoy and look forward to celebrating Family Day, but you have the chance to teach them to be godward in their focus.
How you lead your fellow disciplees — whether they be your own kids or classmates or fellow church members — how you lead them in celebrating God during Family Day can have them looking forward to Family Day for years to come.
Instead of them learning to despise Family Day, wouldn’t be awesome if you taught them the best way to guarantee loving it every year?
And the best way is to make worshipping God the goal.
Our inaugural Celebratory Year will be coming to a close at the end of August, but not only are there still some amazing holidays to observe as we work on worshipping God every day of the year, but when this year comes to a close . . . the next Celebratory Year will just be starting!
So, join us next time as we discuss how Split Worship affects us and our fellow disciples, and then we get to talk about Scripture Day and the Consummation!
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The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.