Celebrating a Wonder of God!
There are holidays people observe that are based on events related to a nation’s history, such as the Fourth of July and Memorial Day. Other holidays, such as Christmas or Easter, are based on remembering religious historical events. But each of us has a peculiar holiday linked to our own person.
Birthdays are a personal “holiday,” so to speak. We feel that it is a special day, and even people who don’t know you very well will wish you a “Happy Birthday” and sometimes even go out of their way to do something nice for you.
Why are birthdays special? As we get older, we can sometimes feel birthdays aren’t as special or as important to celebrate. They just aren’t as exciting as when we were kids. While the Bible doesn’t command a celebration of birthdays, there are good reasons to continue to celebrate the birth of a person—and a birthday is a perfect time to do it.
You are Affirmed by God
Why would you bother with puny, mortal man or care about human beings? Yet what honor you have given to men, created only a little lower than Elohim, crowned with glory and magnificence. You have delegated to them rulership over all you have made, with everything under their authority, placing earth itself under the feet of your image-bearers. All the created order and every living thing of the earth, sky, and sea— the wildest beasts and all that move in the paths of the sea — everything is in submission to Adam’s sons. Yahweh, our Sovereign God, your glory streams from the heavens above, filling the earth with the majesty of your name! People everywhere see your splendor! —Psalms 8:4-9 TPT
In Genesis 1-3, God goes about creating a beautiful and good creation. His most celebrated creation is man. God forms humanity in a very personal way:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So, God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. – Genesis 1:26-27
Man is given a special status as God’s image bearers. God has created every human with intrinsic value because they are made in his image. Whether someone is an infant, a teenager, or an octogenarian, human life is special and precious in God’s sight.
The psalmist, when faced with the marvels of creation, is amazed that God has created man in such a special way, with an elevated status (Ps. 8:4-6). People hold a special place in this world.
You are a Blessing from God
I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. — Genesis 12:1-3
Human beings of all ages are wonders of God. Just as we are amazed by and recognize the glory and blessing of a stately mountain range or the awesomeness of a crashing ocean, we should join with the psalmist in praising God for human life. Birthdays are great opportunities to remind a person of the blessing he or she is and how they are a wonder of God.
Birthdays are a Time for Thankfulness
I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. – Psalm 9:1-2
Birthdays are a fantastic time to contemplate more positive things. There is so much complaining, strife, and conflict that swirls around us. It is easy to be pulled down into focusing on troubles and trials and take people and things for granted. Birthdays provide an opportunity to thank God for the life of a person who is made in the image of the God of the universe and is an amazing creation.
It is important to remember that God is the one who should be the focus of a birthday. When we celebrate someone’s birth, we can remember that our Creator’s image is stamped upon this unique person, and we can thank God for his gift of their life.