Jesus said: “Because the Son of Man goes around eating and drinking, you say, ‘Jesus eats and drinks too much! He is even a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ Yet Wisdom is shown to be right by what its followers do” (Luke 7:34-35).
We all know Jesus was all about a good party. The New Testament is full with accounts of Jesus enjoying good food, the best wine (although it seems he had to bring that himself, sometimes), and great conversation.
Where Jesus was, then there was life. The master was, by any account, the life of the party.
I think it’s obvious what attracted Jesus to parties. It was the people. When Jesus imbibed, he was imbibing in relationships. The relationships were always the main course.
PARTY! This is one reason Rebekah and I are enjoying the “PARTY!” element of this Advent season so much. Day after day, home after home, celebration after celebration, we’re imbibing in the members – and friends – of Wake Forest Presbyterian Church.
We’ve still only been in North Carolina three and a half months, and while it’s wonderful to enjoy life-charged worship experiences with hundreds of people every Sunday at church, it’s when we are privileged to gather together in one-another’s homes that deeper relationships have the opportunity to take root.
“Day after day they met together in the temple. They broke bread together in different homes and shared their food happily and freely, while praising God” (Acts 2:46-47).
The Christmas party Rebekah and I hosted Monday evening was for the WFPC staff, along with their spouses, plus the elders responsible for personnel. It was a fun evening all around. But – no surprise – pulling off a successful event is not difficult when you invite such great people!
Jesus always bought life to the party, because Jesus loved each and every person present.
- I wonder if the shepherds could feel it, that first Christmas night?
- I wonder if, beyond the disruptive reality of receiving a new child in to the world, Mary and Joseph felt embraced by that love?
- I wonder if, were we to enter the room with such Jesus-charged love at every party we attend, other people could feel it this Christmas season?
- How many of us, I wonder, have invited Jesus to love in and through our relationships today?
What if we really did learn to love one-another with the Jesus kind of love?
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.