Like the Israelites, we celebrate

Happy Nevada Day!

This will be my eighth Nevada Day experience. When I first was assigned here everyone said to me “you need to be in the Nevada Day Parade,” so I signed us up. It was a shock. This parade is huge! It’s as big as any parade I’ve been part of, but it still has a personal neighborly feel to it. The kind of feeling I have only experienced in Nevada.

I try to explain it to my friends from other states, but they don’t get it. No other state in the union has this kind of experience. We have the biggest statehood celebration in the U.S.! It makes me proud to be a Nevadan. I’ve been a Nevadan for a little more than seven years and am a honored to be.

In the Old Testament we read about different Holy Days or Festivals God encouraged the Israelites to celebrate. Much like the Nevada Day Celebration, people would come from all over the state of Israel to participate in these festivals. Luke talks about one of these Festivals Jesus attended as a child. Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover. When he was 12 years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom (Luke 2:41-42).

The festival of Passover was a memorial celebration of the Israelites liberation from Egypt. The Israelites were no longer slaves to Egypt but became a free nation. God had set them free. Did you know God can set you free from whatever may be holding you captive? I was once a slave to worldly sins, but God has set me free and he can do the same for you.

Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you ‘ll be free indeed. (John 8:35-16)

I imagine the same warm and joyful feeling we get in our Nevada Day Celebration is similar to the feelings the Israelites felt when they gathered for their festivals.

If you see me today in the parade, make sure you wave and say Hi!

Captain Mark Cyr is pastor of The Salvation Army, 661 Colorado St. Carson City, NV 89701. For information go to


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