Celebration: A Healing Practice

For the new sermon series, starting October 18, we will focus on “All Things New: Celebrating God’s Goodness,” about how we can celebrate even when we are in a  wilderness — of Covid, of personal trials, or of the world’s problems.

Pastor Jenny Smith Walz recommends the book,  The Healing Practice of Celebration. It costs under $10 at Cokesbury and is available in a Kindle edition for the same price. The book is part of  a series on different spiritual practices. The author, Elaine Heath, is a former dean of Duke Divinity School.

As described by the publisher: We think of celebration as a response to something good that happens: a birthday, a holiday, a new birth, a graduation. But what about when life is dull or flat, or especially when we hit rock bottom? Does God expect us to celebrate then? Yes, and we can. The Healing Practice of Celebration explores celebration as a response to the reality that God is continually present, always faithful, and ever loving. Celebration as a spiritual practice involves a posture of living so well anchored in the full story of God’s involvement with people throughout history that anticipatory faith and hope, regardless of present circumstances, inform our thoughts, words, and actions.

On October 18, Pastor Jenny opened the service with this prayer from Teresa of Avila

Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing frighten you,
all things will pass away.
God never changes;
patience obtains all things,
she who possesses God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices. Amen.