Isn’t it cheering that communal celebrations happen? I suspect that just about everyone, for instance, loves attending weddings.
People have their own favorite reasons for a party…. England recently celebrated Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee – 70 years on the throne! – with all sorts of special events throughout the land. In May we went to lots of studios during Oxfordshire Artweeks, to celebrate the creative skills of artists throughout the county. As I write, we’ve just been to a nearby village festival to watch steamroller printing: large lino-cut images printed by a steamroller engine riding over them! Later this summer, a favorite local music festival will have its ‘Last Hurrah’ after taking place for almost 20 years. There’s New Church Day, with pageants and picnics and presents for children. And American Independence Day – parades, fireworks, more picnics.
I don’t have any profound thoughts about all these occasions, I’m just grateful that they exist. They are, really, a celebration of communities, and that’s a very good thing. Amidst all the negative things we’re made aware of, if we pay any attention at all to what’s happening in the world, communal celebrations give us a chance to smile.
“…All desire for celebration and all gladness of mind come from the delights belonging to the loves that govern a person. … The desire to celebrate resides inwardly in a person’s feeling of freedom, and all feeling of freedom comes as a result of love, when nothing exists to frustrate it.” from Heavenly Secrets 1041
“Surely everyone understands that loving many people in a group involves more love for our neighbour than loving an individual member of that group. Therefore smaller and larger communities are also our neighbour, because they are a plurality of people. It follows that someone who loves a community loves the individuals who are part of that community; someone who wishes a community well and gives benefit to it cares for its individuals.” True Christianity 412