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Welcome back, we have so much to talk about, so let me quickly ask you to please rate and review this show.
You can do it on iTunes, you can recommend it on Facebook, and you can even send your review to us directly at Team@CelebrationOfGod.com.
And speaking of CelebrationOfGod.com, be sure to visit today’s blog post for a transcript, free episode notes, and some really important information that will help you enjoy the brand new Christian holiday called The Consummation.
And — with that — let’s talk about this new holiday.
Like I said, there’s so much to talk about because The Consummation is a biblical time period the parts of which are familiar, but the totality of which are infinite. And — for that reason — I believe so many Christians don’t really live in the daily reality of the future event.
So, let’s prepare our minds to worship God on The Consummation by learning more about it.
For starters, The Consummation is celebrated on the last Sunday in August. Now, that means that it can fall as early as the 25th, which means that sometimes Scripture Day and The Consummation will switch places.
But — on most years — The Consummation is the final holiday of our celebratory year because The Consummation is the ultimate anticipation. It’s a future event that brings to a close this portion of God’s plan and simultaneously inaugurates the most glorious phase of His plan.
Just like we begin our year at the beginning — with creation — we want to end our year looking forward to our glorious future eternity.
But what is The Consummation biblically speaking? What exactly are we celebrating?
According to Merriam-Webster, to consummate something is to finish it or bring it to completion. So, we have to ask, what does God has to finish?
Well, speaking of the beginning, God created all that is in order to bring Him the preeminent worship that is due Him. Therefore the heavens declare the glory of God, the rocks shout His praise, and everything in between was designed to fellowship with God.
In fact, mankind was created to have a unique relationship with God that not even the angels or the rest of creation could have.
And that was the original plan. Perfect fellowship, worship, and celebration for all eternity with the God of the universe.
But God knew what would happen. He wasn’t caught off guard when mankind failed to give God the preeminence due Him. Instead, Adam and Eve took the worship that was God’s alone and they dared to offer it on the altar to their own pleasure.
And from then on sin entered the equation, and God can’t have a relationship with anything sinful.
So God instituted a new plan — one He’d created in eternity past — a plan to redeem mankind so that they could have a relationship with Him, and — one day — fellowship with Him the way He originally intended.
Enter the glorious gifts of desperation, justification, sanctification, and glorification . . . the four-fold salvation narrative we celebrate every year during the four seasons of our celebratory year.
God gave man the Law — He communicated His expectations so that man could clearly see it was impossible to please God. Because of sin, no tainted human could ever hope to be righteous enough to fellowship with God for all eternity. Instead, our sin earns us separation from God in a place called hell.
That is the most desperate position in which a human can find himself, and that is the exact position into which all sinful humans are born.
The only way a man or woman could hope to have a relationship with God would be for someone else to pay the debt he is infinitely incapable of paying.
And so Jesus Christ, the Son of God and second person of the Trinity, stepped into time to become the sacrificial Lamb Who would take away the sins of the world. He perfectly paid the price that His followers owed, appeasing God’s wrath and imputing to them His own righteousness.
And when sinners choose to believe in Jesus and what He accomplished for their salvation, He justifies them, the Holy Spirit indwells them, and He begins the lifelong process of sanctification.
But what about glorification? Though we celebrate glorification during the Season of Grace in the months of November, December, and January, glorification will be one of the first things God does for His followers during The Consummation.
Richard Barcellos described The Consummation like this: “In that day, when the new heavens and the new earth come, only righteousness will dwell there. Not only will there be no more tears, no more death, no more sin, and no more effects of sin, there will be no possibility of anything but righteousness, peace, joy, and unbroken eternal life and communion with God and fellowship with saints and angels. This, surely, was plan A from the beginning – God will get all the glory through the work of new creation brought in by the skull-crushing Seed of the woman who entered into his glory by the power of the Holy Spirit at his resurrection and will usher his seed (and the heavens and earth themselves) into the same glory when he comes again. The present era is heading to the consummation due to the fact that the Father has given to the Son all things to sum up.”
And Dr. Barcellos then references Ephesians 1:10, but allow me to start reading at the end of verse 8, “In all wisdom and insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.”
That is what The Consummation is. It’s Christ brining to a close His redemptive plan.
Revelation gives us a glimpse of it in Revelation 21:1-7. “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.’
5 And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He *said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true.’ 6 Then He said to me, ’It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. 7 He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.’”
The rest of the chapter talks about the New Jerusalem as the jewel of the new earth.
And then chapter 22:1-9 gives us this glorious view, “Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, 2 in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; 4 they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. 5 And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. 6 And he said to me, ‘These words are faithful and true;’ and the Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show to His bond-servants the things which must soon take place. 7 ‘And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.’ 8 I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who showed me these things. 9 But he *said to me, ‘Do not do that. I am a fellow servant of yours and of your brethren the prophets and of those who heed the words of this book. Worship God.’”
And that’s what The Consummation is all about. It’s about worshipping God now in light of the future worship that all of His disciples will one day give Him.
And then the whole Bible ends with Jesus saying, “‘Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. 14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter by the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star. 17 The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.’”
And John finishes with these words: “18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book. 20 He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming quickly.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.’”
That is the future Consummation. That is the end of the old world, the old heaven, and the old self. It’s the beginning of the new earth, the new heaven, and the new self celebrating God — every minute of every day — in absolute God-given perfection.
Now, there is so much more — infinitely more — we could say about the coming Consummation. But our time is limited, and we still want to come up with some wonderful ways to celebrate.
So, let’s transition from Preparation to Celebration by talking about a cool idea you can do with your Celebration Wall.
By the way, if you’re new to the show, and you haven’t listened to our introductory episodes, then you probably don’t know what a Celebration Wall is. I know we’re coming to the end of this year, but I strongly encourage you to listen to the episodes so that you’re equipped with all the information you need to celebrate God better at the beginning of the new celebratory year.
Anyway, many of you will remember that we started our year with Creation Week, Labor Day, and Grandparent’s Day. Each of those holidays had their own unique focus, but they all also pointed back to the pre-Fall existence of man in Eden.
Then comes the Day of Atonement, and I suggested taking a black sheet or veil and hanging it over the Celebration Wall to represent the veil of the Holy of Holies which was to represent the separation between man and God and the necessity of a High Priest — perfectly fulfilled in Christ.
That veil was to stay on the wall from the Day of Atonement on the fourth Sunday in September all the way through Halloween which is an observation of the consequences of sin.
And during that whole time nothing new is added to the Celebration Wall. It stands as a visual reminder of the fact that sin separates; sin kills.
By the way, the fact that Daughter’s Day and Son’s Day occur between the Day of Atonement and Halloween is also pregnant with imagery since all mankind since the Fall are born into death because they inherit their sinful flesh from Adam.
Anyway, after Halloween the veil is lifted as we turn our eyes to the Season of Grace where we celebrate the coming of the Messiah which would herald the coming justification.
Now, I remind us of all of that so that we can appreciate my suggestion for The Consummation. I believe it would be beautiful and symbolic of the coming New Heaven and New Earth and New Self and sinless, eternal relationship with God to cover our Celebration Walls with a white sheet or veil.
The old things of this earth will be done away and replaced with perfection. And one of the interesting things we learn about the New Earth is that there won’t be a sun. God will be the source of light. In eternity, we won’t need the sun, but we also won’t need the old memorials that we needed back on earth.
We won’t be tempted to forget the glory of God . . . because He’ll be right there!
So, that’s my suggestion. Let’s cover our Celebration Walls with a white veil in order to symbolize the glorious perfection of eternity.
Of course, it’s your Celebration Wall. You can do with it what you please as long as it points our focus to our great God.
Now, when it comes to celebrating, we’re going to have to exercise our creativity.
The well-known holidays have traditions in which our families have been participating for generations. Even the world joins in with some of the traditions from holiday to holiday.
But it’s very easy for these new holidays to feel sterile and unfriendly because we don’t have years of memories associated with them.
Just remember this — especially with children — you have the opportunity to actually create those traditions and memories that — Lord willing — will continue for generations to come.
So, when it comes to celebrating God in light of The Consummation, it’s always important to incorporate . . .
1. Bible reading, prayer, and discussion about the Godward focus of the day.
I encourage you to download The Consummation Bible Reading from CelebrationOfGod.com and use it in your preparation, celebration, and discipleship.
I also believe that . . .
2. Christ-honoring feasting is appropriate for all holidays.
What do I mean by Christ-honoring? Well, we obviously cannot excuse falling into the sins of gluttony, drunkenness, and poor stewardship of our bodies.
But appropriate feasting includes special foods prepared and presented in a special way to highlight the specialness of the day.
With the exception of Thanksgiving on which we have turkey, my family prefers to make a beef tenderloin on our special feast days. Making the same meal on The Consummation can tie it in with the special memories associated with that meal.
For families who like to plan different menus for each feast, try to find a dish your family will love and can associate with The Consummation for years to come.
One thing — food related — that can be done would be to have a lot of fruit available. In the New Earth, the Tree of Life on either side of the river flowing from the throne of God will bear twelve kinds of fruits. It may be fun for your family to choose your twelve most favorite fruits and have them available for eating all day long or for a special meal or for a special part of the meal.
What I’m about to suggest may sound a lot like an Easter tradition, but what about . . .
3. Purchasing a new outfit for each family member?
The Consummation is about being glorified and entering into perfect worship. The imagery of putting off the old and putting on the new could be fun.
I also think it’s important to emphasize . . .
The Sabbath rest God created for us during Creation Week and then referenced all through the Old and New Testaments was a small picture of the eternal rest we’ll have with God.
I’m not saying that everyone needs to take naps all day, but I am saying that we should strive to avoid work. Care should be taken to truly enjoy rest to God’s honor and glory.
Lord willing, we’re going to be talking about Sabbaths and sabbaticals a lot more this year, but — for now — recognize that God ordained that one day out of seven should be a day of rest. It’s not only a much healthier way of living, the doctrine of rest is spiritually significant for our relationship with God.
And it’s this future rest which begins on The Consummation toward which the Sabbath was designed to point.
But I think there are a lot of things we could try and traditions we could create. Just think about the nuances and unique elements about The Consummation.
Perfection, eternity, worship, purity, eternal life, the new heaven and new earth, the Tree of Life, the throne of God, the eradication of death and sadness and sin and suffering. The list goes on and on, and any one or more of those focuses could easily spark your imagination for a unique way to celebrate The Consummation.
We’d love to hear your ideas and add them to our Consummation page so that all of us can learn from what other disciples of Christ are doing.
Now, I know this episode is a little longer than usual, but I hope you’re excited. I hope you’re excited to celebrate The Consummation, but I hope you’re even more excited about participating in the future Consummation and introducing more and more people to God so they too can be there with us!
And that is the whole focus of evangelism that leads to discipleship.
Now, before we conclude, I do want to answer a question that’s been posed to me on a couple occasions. Some people have wondered what the difference is between Advent and The Consummation.
Well, advent means coming. Jesus’ first coming was the incarnation, and His future second coming is going to set in motion the events that will lead up to the Consummation. But there’s quite a bit that happens in-between the Second Coming and the Consummation. I encourage you to go back and listen to our Advent episodes for a sneak peak of some of the highlights of Christ’s Second Coming including the Millennial Kingdom.
All of that to say, The Consummation is a different focus. Yes, it will come after the Second Advent, but The Consummation isn’t about focusing on the sin and destruction of the ends times and the rebellion at the end of the Millennium, it’s about the future perfection of the way God intended it to be from the beginning — an eternity of Him receiving the perfect worship, adoration, praise, and celebration that is due Him!
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets so that other followers of Christ can join us in our first celebration of The Consummation.
And join us next time as we prepare for a new year in our Year Long Celebration of God!
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.