My brother bear just LOVES his birthday, this year declaring a public celebration for the whole month! Well of course he can’t have the ENTIRE month because he shares it with our mother, who is turning 90 this year. To quote him;
Birthdays should be celebrated to honor our parents! But even More importantly, we need to remember and thank our Lord and Creator who Knew us even before we were formed in our mothers womb Jeremiah 1:5My bear!
Honoring her day is going to be a challenge this year as plans to gather many in a public space (camping per her request) to had to change to protect her health. 90 is a huge milestone so there will be a scramble for us to learn how to host something for her to enjoy online.
When the effects of COVID 19 first took place, it may have been hard to comprehend the impact. However, as the virus spreads and social distancing measures continue, those initial reactions may be replaced by new feelings. It is important for us to find creative ways to do things and focus on the positive. For those of you who are having to rearrange such big plans like us, the following video might help?
Birthdays, a blessing or a blight?
Birthdays are greeted with a mixture of emotions, ranging from joy and anticipation to denial and dread. When we were children, we thought of them as exciting celebrations in which we were the center of attention. But as we grow older, enthusiasm can easily turn into embarrassment when the top of the birthday cake begins to look like a forest fire! Some see birthdays as dark reminders that they have lost another year of their precious youth and are a year closer to death.
But blessed birthdays are birth-days, occasions of re-birth. At a blessed birthday celebration, it is the guest of honor who must do the work. At birthday parties of those who are pilgrims of the Way, the guest of honor must “labor,” as does a woman in childbirth. Each Birth-Day becomes a Labor Day, a festival of re-birthing the sleeping child within.
Christmas and birthdays are most enjoyed by children. But regardless of our age, if we can make our birthdays into true birth-days, then they can become occasions of great joy. They also become opportunities to awaken a “beginner’s mind,” the mind of a child, eager to learn new things. A beginner’s mind is full of questions like, “What if? What could happen if I tried it this way?”
A birthday party is like a New Year’s Eve party. It’s an occasion to throw off our old ways, our “graduate’s minds,” so that we can again become students of life. A birthday celebration is not just a commemoration of a past event or another notch on the staff of life: it is a challenge to be created anew.
Even the custom of the birthday cake decorated with candles can hold new symbolism for us. If birthdays were actually a sign of losing another year of life, then it would make sense for the cake at our first birthday party to have seventy or eighty candles blazing away on it. Then with each passing year it would have one less candle. But if birthdays are understood not as a blight but a as a blessing, then we can again see birthday celebrations as life celebrations which proclaim that we have grown another year’s worth in wisdom and holiness. Each candle would then be a sign that we had become more luminous, more a reflection of the Light of Lights.
And for those who fear growing old, who fear the ultimate knock of death on the door, there’s another tradition at our annual birth-day party which holds a secret of good news. At every birthday celebration, the party doesn’t really begin until all the candles are blown out!Edward Hays