First Presbyterian Church

Celebrating Being Alive

May the warmth of God’s grace and peace fill you this morning!

February is birthday month in the Fitchett Family. Our first child was born in February, Art’s birthday is in February, Art’s Dad celebrated a February birthday and Art’s sister’s first child was born in February. There is a cousin who has a February birthday and Art’s Sister and her husband were married in February. And then of course there is today, Valentine’s Day. That is a lot of celebrating in such a short month!

One of the things I discovered about the traditions in Art’s family as we were dating was the way they celebrated birthdays. My family recognized birthdays but Art’s Mom made sure each birthday was a CELEBRATION — no matter how old! In particular I remember celebrating Grandma Buck’s birthday. Grandma Buck lived into her 90’s and was born on January 1. Every year when we were able to be a part of that celebration, there was a fun New Year’s Eve party and then at the strike of midnight we all sang Happy Birthday to Grandma Buck and brought out the birthday cake and gifts — even in the wee hours of the morning! It was always a special time and is still a wonderful memory!

The Henri Nouwen Society recently shared a meditation called “Celebrating Being Alive” about how and why to remember birthdays. You can find it here.

The meditation talks about the gift of birthdays and celebrating the person; not their accomplishments or what they do, but just celebrating who they are and saying “you are important to me!”.

It is still early in the year and there are a lot of birthdays yet to come. Remember to celebrate the gift of life and the importance of having that life entertained with your life. Remember also that God is the one who bestows life upon each of us. Don’t forget to lift up a prayer of thanksgiving in your time of celebration and to add God’s blessing upon those who add meaning to your life.

— Pastor Judy