So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.”
But his father said to the servants, “Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.” So the party began. LUKE 15:20-24
I remember the first party I ever missed. I was 6 or 7 years old. A neighbor of my grandmother was throwing a summer pool party. I was giddy with excitement. But on the day of the big event, I came down with the flu and missed it. To this day I remember my disappointment in being left out of the fun.
Nobody wants to be left out of the fun.
Last Sunday, Stuart Hall told us that parties ought to be a priority in our lives because Jesus loved parties and He loved people. Christ left nobody off the guest list.
- In the prodigal son story, Jesus tells us how the father’s banquet for his lost son confirms we can all be forgiven. (Luke 15:11-32)
- When Jesus invites Himself over to dine with Zacchaeus, a hated tax collector who had become rich off the Jewish people, Jesus shows us that people matter more than our opinions. (Luke 19:1-10)
- In His first recorded miracle, Christ turns water into wine at a wedding, revealing that God cares about people who, well, party. (John 2:1-12)
In fact, if it weren’t for a Christmas party on a Saturday night in 2005, I might not have become a Christian. It was at that neighborhood bash that we met a couple who told us about PC3. We went the very next day, and nine months later I asked Christ into my heart.
Still, we don’t have to wait for a special occasion or date on the calendar. Stuart defines a party as “any effort to celebrate or serve each other in order to enjoy each other.” In other words, we can bring the party with us wherever we go. At the gym, we can chat with someone we see all the time but have never spoken to before. When our neighbor is working in the yard, we can pop over with a glass of lemonade. On an uneventful Tuesday evening, we can grab some friends for a spontaneous picnic dinner on the beach.
Remember the movie “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”? Right before Ted utters his classic line, “Party on, dudes,” Bill says something equally cool: “Be excellent to each other.”
Let’s do both.
- What is your favorite type of party and why?
- In what ways do you celebrate and serve your family? Your friends? People you don’t even know?
- It’s summertime. Why not have a get together and invite at least one person that’s never been on your guest list before?
Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for Your Word, which demonstrates to us how You feel about parties. You love when we let our guards down and just enjoy one another. Help us to look at every person we meet as a guest who is invited to Your ultimate party in Heaven one day. Give us opportunities to throw out the welcome mat, turn up the music and show Your great love. Amen.
PC3 writer Katy Davis wrote today’s devotional.