In 1980, the soul-funk band Kool & the Gang released their song “Celebration.” It hit number one on the Billboard chart in 1981, and has since become an iconic song at parties, major sporting events, and wedding dances. The original music video is worth viewing here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GwjfUFyY6M. This repetitive lyric is an ear-worm that can follow you all day long: “Celebrate good times, come on! (Let’s celebrate.)”
Celebrations are cause and call to gather as people. And we know in this season of coronavirus, we have not been able to gather normally with the heaviness of the pandemic naturally muting many of our celebrations. Yet, the celebratory spirit remains alive among us! Despite the hardships we are enduring, there are good times to mark and celebrations to be had. People have creatively and inspirationally celebrated all sorts of glad-worthy events virtually or with responsible social-distancing: birthdays, proms, happy hours, holidays (Easter, Passover, Ramadan), anniversaries, even virtual weddings (!), and other numerous causes for celebrating together! Today we offer “A PRAYER FOR…CELEBRATIONS” and the spirit we share to be community and rejoice—even in hard times.
“This is the day that God has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Let us pray:
Your creation, O God, is a celebration of your goodness. We praise you for this day that continues to unfold before us by your creative will. May we rejoice and be glad as creatures of your own imagination and work. Though the hardships surround us and challenges have beset us, we still find cause and reason to celebrate—for you are with us! Thank you for the witness of drive-by birthday parades, wedding vows proclaimed to a virtual crowd, worship and prayer serves with Facebook Live watch parties, clanked glasses via Zoom, and other ways that testify to the spirit of celebrating good times. Bless our celebrations as we revel in the gift of life and power of socially connected community. In joy and in gladness we pray: Amen.
Rev. Justin Lind-Ayres, University Pastor