Why We Celebrate

by Peter Swann

Three adults. Three kids. And a lot of tears.

On the face of it, not much of a celebration. Two years away from family and friends, leaving all the amenities of America behind. Adopting a life of challenges over a life of security.

So why do we celebrate? Because we always choose Christ over comfort, and therefore celebrate Christ over comfort.

Jared had risen through the ranks with the same company since he was eighteen years old. He walked away so he could walk among the South Sudanese.

Keisha was crowned manager at the year at her job. She laid down her crown so many more could receive the crown of eternal life.

Christina was accepted to nursing school, what she had longed for. She laid down that longing out of a greater longing to see the South Sudanese know Christ.

Scripture is replete with stories of those who gave up home and safety and comfort for a foreign land and uncertainty and suffering. Our God is a missionary God, and His people are to be a missionary people. The time is short, the world is hurting, and either His Kingdom or the kingdom of darkness will be advanced.

So we celebrate because His Kingdom is going forth.

We celebrate because He’s being glorified.

We celebrate because it’s what faithfulness looks like.

And, in the end, it simply embodies what Christ already did for us… He who endured the things of our broken and fallen world for the sake of our saved and mended souls. In response, we love Him with all we have, live with all we have, and joyfully lay it all down with all we have.

So, yesterday, in Terminal D at IAH, we wept. Dear friends left, embarking on their two year journey. But while we grieve, we also rejoice. We rejoice, for God’s Kingdom is going forth. And as it goes forth there, it will go forth here. Around the world, our Lord’s Kingdom is being advanced for the glory of His great name.

And in that, we greatly celebrate.