RECORD, October 21, 2006
I like having birthdays. You probably do too. Birthdays usually mean a party (I like going to parties). A party usually means presents (I like getting presents), party food (I like party food), birthday cake (I like cake) and games and activities (I like them too!).
On your birthday, friends and family will usually visit you. If they can’t visit, they might call you or send a card to say they remembered your birthday. Usually the closer a friend is to you, the more likely they will remember your birthday. The more a friend likes you, the more likely they will try to make your birthday the best day ever.
The people who come to your birthday celebration will usually tell you how wonderful you are and how much you mean to them. It’s nice to feel loved on your birthday.
How do you think you would feel if everybody forgot your birthday? I mean everybody! Your parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, friends—everyone!
Not one person gave you a present. No party was organised for you. No cake with candles. No-one came to visit you.
No-one even seemed to notice it was your birthday. Everyone just seemed to do their own thing.
I would be very sad. I might even think that because everyone forgot my birthday they didn’t really care about me as much as they said they did.
People don’t mean to forget other people’s birthdays. A year is a long time between birthdays. So much can happen in between birthdays. By the time the next birthday comes, oops! Forgot. If birthdays happened every week they would be much easier to remember. Imagine if you had a birthday every week! Do you think you would like that?
Every week, your family and friends visit for a celebration. Wouldn’t you feel special!
Did you know that every Sabbath we celebrate God’s birthday? Well, God doesn’t actually have a birthday, because He has been around forever and ever (and ever).
But to remember God we use the birthday of the earth.
It took six days for the earth to be fully developed. Once it was fi nished being formed and fully created, God declared a day of remembrance—just like a birthday is used for remembering when you and I had fi nished being created.
Each Sabbath we have a celebration to remember how wonderful God is. The Sabbath is a day God’s family and friends come together to celebrate the wonderful earth of surprises God created for us as a gift and, most of all, how much He loves us.
We spend Sabbath remembering God and leaving the other things we might normally do for another day—things that don’t remind us of how good God is.
Lots of people are involved in organising the celebration for God each week at church. People organise activities for everyone to do, music, stories and food—all because they love God and want to celebrate His love.
Some people bring presents, like offerings, for God as a thankyou for loving them so much. Some invite friends along to the celebrations so they can introduce them to God, to see how great their other friend God is.
A week does not seem long between birthdays. However, imagine if we had a celebration only once a year for God; if we went a whole year between celebrations for God. That would be way too long! We might forget about how great He is in that time, get caught up at school or doing things and then forget to thank God and miss celebrating altogether!
I think God deserves a party every day, but Exodus 20:9, 10 says once a week is OK. “Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.”
How do you think God would feel if we forgot about Him—after everything He has done for us? What if people didn’t come to the weekly celebration and decided to do their own thing—without God?
I think He would be sad.
God knew people would forget about Him. He even made one of the Ten Commandments a reminder for us, to help people not to forget. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” it says in Exodus 20:8.
The next time someone says “Happy Sabbath” to you, imagine they are really saying “Happy birthday, God. Thank You for all You do and are. We love You so much!”
Happy Sabbath, kids!