“The Lord has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. Lord, save us! Lord, grant us success!” Psalm 118:24–25
“‘Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:23–24
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
“We’re all party animals if we’re children of God. We’re into celebration even in the midst of suffering. Even in the face of death we know how to say joyful, joyful we adore thee. We are people. We are joyful people.” Tony Campolo
“The Kingdom of Heaven is a party with an open invitation. It’s only by the grace of God that we’re there at all!” Eliezer Gonzalez
“God directs his people not simply to worship but to sing his praises ‘before the nations.’ We are called not simply to communicate the Gospel to nonbelievers; we must also intentionally celebrate the Gospel before them.” Tim Keller
“It lets us laugh at the faintly ridiculous deficit between who we are and who we’d like to be.” Roger Bretherton
1. Write down a list of all the fun things you love to do – choose to do one from your list every week and take someone else with you.
2. As a group, find someone who needs to remember that they are worth celebrating and throw them a party.
The gospels are full of stories about parties. In Jesus’ parables, he often compared the Kingdom of God with a party. And of course he performed the world’s best party trick at a wedding, when he turned water into wine. And it was Jesus’ partying with “sinners” which got him the accused of drunkenness and gluttony. So while the bible is very clear that drinking too much alcohol (Ephesians 5:18) isn’t in line with Kingdom values, it is equally obvious that there is something deeply spiritual about parties.
Finding a reason to celebrate or to laugh is not always easy; life if full of suffering and pain. Searching out reasons to party therefore is a choice. A practice. An art. And while people around us might think they know how to party, many are drinking to forget or consuming to numb.
We have the opportunity to demonstrate a different way. To party in the midst of pain. To literally be like a child, as Jesus said, and laugh at a silly joke. To choose to focus on what is lovely, admirable and pure. To toast to someone’s success. To not take yourself too seriously. Choosing to party will grow resilience in you and bring healing to others.
Watch this space!