Friday, December 4, 2009


Tonight I am hosting a Christmas party for my friends. I've been eagerly preparing for this party all week, and I've been looking forward to it for months. I love a good celebration, and it will be wonderful to have so many loved ones together to share in my joy. My party tonight is the first of several parties I'll be attending in the next few weeks, and I'm looking forward to all of these events.

It seems to me that there's always been an undercurrent in Christian thought implying that Christians should be serious and hardworking and that we should focus on being good servants of God, not on having a good time. While it's true that we shouldn't be partying all the time, I think the Bible clearly shows that God is in favor of a little healthy celebration from time to time. God appointed several feasts for the Jewish people, and Jesus even told parables in which God is illustrated as hosting His own parties whenever lost souls return to Him. Like the woman who found her coin, the shepherd who recovered his sheep, and the father of the prodigal son, God knows when it's time to throw a good party.

God celebrates when sinners repent because His joy is too great to be kept inside. According to Jesus, even the angels join in the party because they share in God's joy. The people in Jesus' parables were just so excited that they needed loved ones to come celebrate with them. We feel that way at different points in our lives, and it's good and right for us to throw parties at those times so we can rejoice over the blessings we have received. We don't need something as momentous as a marriage or a new home to have an excuse to celebrate. Sometimes, like tonight, it's appropriate just to celebrate having valuable relationships and living in a world where we are blessed and redeemed by God. 

It's important to note that Christian parties aren't about thrills, debauchery, or flaunting our affluence to our neighbors. Sure, there might be fun activities and good food, but the main attraction is the people with whom we celebrate. I'm throwing this party because I want to rejoice in the blessings I've received this year, and I want my loved ones to be a part of that joy. This celebration will bolster my soul for the work ahead and it will also provide positive energy for my guests. If I just wanted to have a good time on my own, I could book a lavish getaway for one, but I want to share the good time with other people. My joy is too great to be limited only to me. Sometimes I celebrate just with my husband or with a small intimate group, and tonight I'm throwing a party. There's a time and place for all kinds of celebration, but I find that it's the people that make these occasions special.

Celebration is an important part of Christian life because it helps foster the joy that fuels us as we do our work. I don't think that celebration is something 'extra' that we do—I think it's essential to our lives as Christians. It's true that we can't party all the time because then we'd never get any work done, but we can't work all the time and forgo celebrations either. A little healthy fun is good for the soul. So I'm looking forward to feeding my soul with the joy that my friends and I will share at my party tonight.

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