It (minus the exclamation point) appears in the New Living Translation Bible 80 times. There are only eight occurrences of it in the New Testament, and three of those are in a 10 verse stretch in the parable of the lost son in Luke 15:11-32.
The son had been disrespectful toward his Dad, wanting when he wanted it the inheritance that would be due him on his Dad’s death. Dad had given it to him.
The son went way away, partied, and went through all of the money.
He had to exist in the mess he’d made.
Ultimately, he decided to return to his Dad, apologize, and ask to be treated like one of Dad’s servants.
But Dad wouldn’t hear of it, and instead told those servants , “‘Let’s have a feast and “CELEBRATE!” (my emphasis), because my son was dead and is alive again. He was lost and has been found.’ So they had this huge party.” Luke 15:23b-24, The Voice Bible
We (people in general, and more specifically, congregations), I believe, would do well to search for people or occasions to “CELEBRATE!”, and then to “CELEBRATE!” them.
It would necessarily require a “huge party.”
Perhaps it would be as simple as singing “Happy Birthday.”
Or, it could be a fairly well-planned and involved recognition of a congregation’s presence in their community for 175 years.
Opportunities to “CELEBRATE!” may well be limitless!
Thinking of a couple “CELEBRAT(IONS)” I’ve attended in the last year, I see several common elements. Positively-thinking people, food, music, speeches (perhaps the shorter the better!).
Let’s try it! We wouldn’t necessarily need all of the above “CELBRAT(ION)” components.
We could call it, “Search for and “CELEBRATE!”
May we not miss many, or maybe even any, people or occasions to “CELEBRATE!”
The person most important to “CELEBRATE!”?
In the lyrics to a song, “CELEBRATE, JESUS, CELEBRATE!”