Recently, my oldest son had a birthday, so we rolled out the Star Wars table cloth, Star Wars balloons, Star Wars cake, Star Wars plates, and Star Wars napkins to throw him a little party. We had a blast and the light saber duels were epic, but it got me thinking about what we’re celebrating on birthdays. Yes, I know, it’s a celebration of growing up and getting older, but my son doesn’t have any control over that. He does not grow or age himself. It wasn’t like we were celebrating the hard work and discipline he put into making himself a four year-old… God made gave him that year and God made him taller and God developed his understanding! The same is true of us as adults, although I don’t think I’ll be getting any taller (but certainly my pants will get hiked up closer to my neck as the years go by). God is the one who gives us each year, therefore, my point is that He is the one we should be celebrating on birthdays as our Creator and Sustainer. Even more than that, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, then each time you have a birthday, make it a habit of celebrating the fact that you are now a year closer to eternity with your King. That’s something to celebrate… or should I say someone to celebrate because it’s all because of Jesus that we get to look forward to a glorious, perfect future with Jesus!
As we get older, birthdays tend to be an occasion for depression and self-pity because we’re getting closer to death, but birthdays should be occasions for rejoicing because “to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). Why is dying gain? Because death ushers us into the presence of God where we get to enjoy Him without sin and suffering! So, if we’re thinking right, then birthdays should be joyful occasions for all believers, and more increasingly the older we get. Generally, we have it backwards because we get the most excited about birthdays within the first 21 years of a person’s life. But we should be most excited when we go to the birthday of a ninety year-old lover of Christ, because that saint is almost there! We have more to celebrate on birthdays than we think. So, let’s break out the best Dr. Pepper, the best china and those shrimp that are wrapped with bacon and stuffed with cheese… because we’re getting closer to eternity with our King!