When I’ve asked people, “what qualities draw you to want to be around certain families?” I have consistently heard back, “they’re fun” or “they laugh a lot”.
A common misperception of Christ’s family is that he and his disciples, and church, are supposed to be solemn and introspective. That eruptions of laughter and body-pummeling are somehow unholy. Christians are supposed to pray and stuff, afterall.
What a bore. And it’s just not so.
The Kingdom is like a party
First of all, Jesus doesn’t compare his kingdom to a classroom or a counseling session, he compares it to a “great banquet” thrown by a king at his mansion, filled to the brim with “the poor and crippled and blind and lame” (Lk. 14:21). It’s not a bunch of stuck-up, high-class people who are used to such parties and will try to repay the king with a party just as good (Lk. 14:12-13). In other words, it’s a party with those who are excited about the Host and his food.
Or consider the scene of the table of a king who gave a wedding feast for his son (Mt. 22:2; Rv. 19:9). Good food, fun company, unbelievably beautiful ceremony. Then the king stands up at the head of the table and begins to belt out a song over his guests out of pure joy for his son’s marriage (Zeph. 3:17). That is the biblical picture of the kingdom of God.
Don’t forget that Jesus’ first miracle was turning over 100 gallons of water into over 100 gallons of delicious wine at a huge, weeklong wedding party (John 2).
Bottom line: the family of God knows how to party.
However — unlike the parties where “scoring” with the hot chick or getting “schlitfaced” on cheap beer is the goal — the family of God parties out of a place of deep satisfaction and joy, not a pursuit of anything but expressing joy.
Practically, this plays out in several ways when the family gathers
- When God’s blessing is seen in each other’s lives–we party! That means make a big deal about God’s provision when babies are born or adopted, when brothers and sisters get engaged or married, when there is a job promotion, when God gives someone a house, when there is a birthday, or when someone perfects a certain recipe to share.
- Have parties where you invite EVERYONE. Take some cues from Scripture and throw a bash with those who haven’t asked and won’t/can’t return the favor. For starters, your Community Group could spearhead National Night Out, which is August 2, 2011.
- Sing, dance, eat–or whatever you do when you’re stoked–whenever you collectively consider the incredible blessing of the gospel and being a part of the family of God through Jesus.
Go bake a cake!