God Love’s a Good Party
Did you know God loves a good party? If He had His druthers I think God would be ecstatic by people celebrating every day, nonstop frivolity and boundless joy. Early in the history of the Jewish people’s move into the Promised Land God instituted several festivals; feasts and parties that commemorated God’s deliverance from Egypt, celebrations of harvest and so many more significant events in God’s interaction with his people. Money given to the priests for God’s purposes was spent; food was gathered followed by everybody resting from work while eating and drinking, visiting and celebrating God’s care for them. But did you notice the underlying reason for the celebration? To celebrate God’s care for them.
The New Testament is packed with feast and banquet settings and Jesus was constantly in attendance. Celebrating at a marriage banquet was the backdrop for Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine. He and the disciples had probably been there a quite awhile if the wine was running low. Further on into Revelation a picture unfolds of everybody surrounding the throne of God singing with abandon celebrating God and His presence.
God really does love a good party. Interestingly though it is not the partying and celebration that God desires for us. He wants us to have these celebrations for a purpose; the purpose being to give glory to Him. The motive for the celebration is really what God is all about. The Old Testament feast days and weeks were instituted by God for the sole purpose of giving His people rest and joy in celebrating Him. Isn’t this what we say Christmas is all about – celebrating Jesus? But is it really?
As I look around I see many reasons people celebrate Christmas. But can we even call it Christmas anymore of just a holiday? Advertisers usher in the season bent on enticing us with products that if not purchased for our loved ones our callousness will most likely leave them depressed and on the edge of hating us. You cannot disappoint anyone –buy my widget! Giving gifts is a great thing, God loves a cheerful giver. How much of our giving stems from something less than a cheerful buoyant attitude anymore? Have we become pressured and conditioned to worry more about the gift given than the purpose for giving it? How many people may be disappointed in something they receive because they have set high expectations for what they think they deserve? What has Christmas become about for you?
Jesus declares in Luke that He came to seek and save what was lost. Reclaiming and redeeming no matter the cost was what Jesus set out to accomplish when He voluntarily left heaven to start life on earth in a stable. God willingly gave His son for the purpose as well. In a sense Christmas is about the gift – the original gift of Jesus. As we commemorate that first Christmas we Christians need to redeem what is being lost. Make sure we are teaching our children and grandchildren diligently why we are giving and who we honor. In our office parties, church get togethers, school gift exchanges and family dinners do not compromise the real reason for the celebration. Be bold in celebrating Jesus! Have a great party not focused on gifts but attentive to the original gift that came to seek and save. Let’s redeem Christmas! That is a party that God would love for us to all have.
This daily devotion is written by John Key