FESTIVUS, FOR THE REST OF US

This past week comedian and actor Jerry Stiller passed away.  If you aren’t familiar with Jerry he is Ben Stiller’s dad, and known for his roles in the popular t.v. series King of Queens and Seinfeld.  Both of these shows are two of my favorites, but I absolutely LOVE Seinfeld.  It makes me laugh like no other show does.  Every episode of Seinfeld can always be related to a real life scenario that we’ve all lived through which adds to the comedy.  In Seinfeld Jerry played Frank Costanza, George’s father.  Frank Costanza is most well-known for his creation of the holiday Festivus.  Festivus was Frank’s way of fighting back against the “commercialization of Christmas”.  Now two of the main rituals of Festivus were the “airing of grievances” and “feats of strength”.  Of course the decoration center piece of Festivus is the Festivus pole.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Eric why in the world are you talking about a make believe holiday in the Central Daily Devo?”  Well I mention this because I think we can learn something from the two main rituals of Festivus.

AIRING OF GRIEVANCES

As I was scrolling through Facebook this past week I had to check the date because I thought it must be Festivus.  Everyone was airing out their grievances!  I could picture Frank saying, “I’ve got a lot problems with you people!”  Coronavirus, Politics, Work, Kids, Spouses, Weather, the list goes.  Grievances were being aired.  I get it.  It’s hard to be positive right now.  Many days it feels like there isn’t much to be positive about.  BUT….. We can do better.  We have to do better. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

I know we’ve got grievances to air out and many of them have merit.  We’ve also got plenty of people on our feeds that need encouragement.  They need built up.  They are lonely, depressed.  This time of staying at home has been really difficult and hard on them.  There’s a time for airing grievances, but that holiday isn’t here yet.  Imagine the impact we could have on our newsfeeds if we aired out all the good God is doing in our lives right now!

FEATS OF STRENGTH

Now traditionally “Feats of Strength” is celebrated by the chosen participant wrestling Frank until they pin Frank.  I’m not going to encourage you to wrestle anyone.  I am going to encourage you to show some “feats of strength”. 

Isaiah 41:10: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Who in your life could use some strength right now?  What better feats of strength to show them than strength given directly from God.  “I will strengthen you and help you.”  God doesn’t just want to give us strength, God wants to show us His feats of strength.  He wants to help.  I think we all could agree we could use some strength right now.  We all could use some help.

So maybe just maybe this week let’s save our grievances for Festivus.  Trust me the news has got the negative stuff covered.  They don’t need our help.  Let’s be a clear source of positivity to those around us.  Let’s encourage those around us and build each other up.  If God has given you strength, share it.  If you feel weak, ask for strength.  God doesn’t just want to give it, he wants to help.

Father, would you encourage us, strengthen us, help us.  Help us to be a refreshing source of positivity in a negative world.  God we need YOU now.  Amen.

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Central Christian Church | Mount Vernon, Illinois