Tomorrow evening, Falcon and Patriots fans will celebrate their team’s accomplishment as they face off in the Super Bowl. The rest of us, the non-Falcon and non-Patriot fans, can choose to cheer for one of them (please not the Patriots) or just show up for the commercials. I view the time as four hours to chill out and eat my weight in junk food.

There will be celebrations over sacks, hard-hitting tackles, field goals, and touchdowns. I hope to celebrate the evening with some belly laughs! With a 5 million dollar price tag for commercial spots,  there better be off-the-chart entertaining  commercials!

As the final seconds ticks away, confetti will reign down and the Lombardi trophy will be kissed and passed around. For the victors, there will be much to celebrate.

On Friday evenings, I sit in a circle of women and we celebrate victories, some big, some small. There are no touchdown dances, mostly tears, hugs, and knowing smiles. We gather for Celebrate Recovery; a safe place to admit our habits, hang ups, and hurts.

Celebrate Recovery is the creation of Pastors John Baker and Rick Warren at Saddleback Church in southern California. Warren shares, “The Bible clearly states “all have sinned.” It is my nature to sin, and it is yours too.  Because of sin, we’ve all hurt ourselves, we’ve all hurt other people, and others have hurt us. This means each of us need repentance and recovery in order to live our lives the way God intended.”

About 30 men and women come seeking recovery, a reason to celebrate. We want to live our lives the way God intended: whole and free. All of us desire to be free of whatever entangles our minds and bodies. To show up on Friday night, feels like reason in itself to celebrate. Some share reports of a good week, some tear up over their hard week.

We come to the local church as believers in Jesus Christ, that is who we are. Our identity, the very core of who we are, is in Him. Our habits, hang ups, and hurts do not define us. They are not who we are. They are our struggles but we do not struggle alone. That realization is another reason to celebrate.

The Super Bowl offers hype and hoopla. Celebrate Recovery offers hope. Tomorrow night, many will celebrate. But on Friday evenings in a small classroom tucked inside a local church, the purest, truest, and deepest of celebrations are occurring. To God be all the Glory!

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them.Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! Philippians 4:4,5 (MSG)