One of the characteristics that the Salvation Army is known for is the sale of its tabloid: “The War Cry”. This publication has been in circulation for 140 years, being sold by salvationists in all places, but mainly in bars and restaurants for the purpose of sharing the Word of God and raising funds for the work.
I recall one time when selling this journal in a pizza place, I approached a table where a young couple drinking a beer challenged me by saying that God says no for everything, they referred to the ten commandments, and then said that I was not free to sit and drink with them. I replied by saying that it was exactly the opposite, that God is the God of yeses and that I was free not to drink with them.
Sadly, this is the understanding of many atheists and many believers as well, that God is grumpy and says no for everything. This conclusion however is absolutely wrong. The bible in its beginning teaches that God is the creator of life in all its forms, and later on adds that Jesus Christ came to give us abundant life.
The celebrations described in the Old Testament were not only religious rites, they were communitarian feasts with music and dance when God was recognized as the donor of life. One of the most significant parables in the New Testament is the Prodigal Son, where the Father promotes a tremendous party to celebrate the son’s restauration.
Our heavenly Father is the God of yeses and not of noes. Yes to everything that truly promotes life and no only to what destroys it. Let us celebrate life with festival, good food, music and dance, recognizing that everything comes from the Creator.
(Festivals of the Old Testament, Exodos 34:22 – Feast of the Prodigal Son, Luke 15:22-24)