Carnival! – Look, See, Pray

The sun is turning us toasty.  So much hot sunshine comes as a surprise in the usually green and pleasant land of the British Isles. Put your hand up if you HAVEN’T complained about being too hot. You’re  amazing- unless you are fibbing!

A few years ago we visited Malta and were in Valetta for the “Karnival Ta Malta”. We went in on the old ramshackle Bedford buses (now sadly but safely replaced) and joined thousands of happy, hot Maltese on the streets. Instead of the typical pram-based English carnival floats, they really went to town. Colour: eye-watering. Size: Humungous! Variety? Loads.

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Here’s a thought. Why not throw our “British reserve” out of the window, and celebrate the summer in style?

There’s so much political misery and pessimism about; and we can all find reasons to be sad or upset. However, the deliberate act of celebration changes things- and us. God ordained major feasts for Israel, time to worship, celebrate, give thanks and remember. Even the more solemn feasts like Passover had celebration built in.

Joy breeds joy. Why not invite a friend, a neighbour, a colleague to get together and just enjoy the summer while it lasts? There is room for remembering God’s goodness and our response- and time to relax, enjoy good food & drink, and make merry.

Somehow we have given the impression that God is stern and often angry. We seem to forget that Jesus said “I have come to bring LIFE TO THE FULL.” Christians are not called to be dull, boring, negative or holier-than-thou. We are called to LIVE and in living to bear witness to the saving grace and love of Jesus Christ. Go on, give it a go!

Leviticus 23:24 (Message) “Tell the People of Israel, On the first day of the seventh month, set aside a day of rest, a sacred assembly—mark it with loud blasts on the ram’s horn…

Leviticus 23:39-40 “So, summing up: On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, after you have brought your crops in from your fields, celebrate the Feast of GOD for seven days. The first day is a complete rest and the eighth day is a complete rest. On the first day, pick the best fruit from the best trees; take fronds of palm trees and branches of leafy trees and from willows by the brook and celebrate in the presence of your GOD for seven days...”

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