The Party!

When you read the three parables of Luke 15 – three parables that Jesus uses to stand down the rule-oriented, intolerant religious people of his day – they all end with a BIG party.  The Shepherd brings home the lost sheep and throws a party.  The woman finds the lost coin and throws a party. The lost son returns and his dad throws a party.

peanuts_happy_danceThey all gather their friends and neighbors to rejoice.  The word translated “rejoice” literally means to jump up and spin in the air with delight. It’s a big raucous celebration!

Okay – so let’s recap.  In these parables, God’s heart is breaking because we’ve wandered away from God.  When we either let God find us and pick us up or see God running toward us, there is no condemnation. Nor is there a punishment.  Nor is there a “better do better speech.”  All we really do is say “yes” to our creator.  Yes! I want to know you – to be transformed by your love – to love others like you love me! Yes! Yes! Yes!  God can’t wait to scoop us up or throw loving arms around us.  And then God throws a party complete with cool clothes, good food, dancing, and music.  I am not making this up.  Read Luke 15!

This party, where the friends and neighbors of God gather, is what the Kingdom of God is all about.  There is really no sense hanging out with religious people who are intolerant, rule-oriented, judging, and condemning.  Find the ones that understand the Kingdom of God is like a party.  Hang out with them – because God is in their midst:

“The LORD your God is in your midst. . . He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice (jump in the air and spin around!) over you with shouts of joy! (Zep 3:17 NAS)

2 Comments on “The Party!

  1. Pingback: » The Party!

  2. This has been on my mind a lot lately and while my written comments and replies may come across as assertive and with confidence I can assure you that that is only true to a point.

    I really value your posts especially because I have so many friends who are not Christians and I find your writing more likely to connect with them than most other peoples.

    I would agree that there is no punishment and that there is no “better do better speech” but there is a at times a “do better speech”.

    John 8:10-11
    10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
    11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

    The difference between the two is profound. A “better do better speech” involves an implied threat “you better do better or else” where as what Jesus did on a number of recorded occasions was command people to go and be or do better. The example above is just one but on a number of occasions Jesus instructed people to “go and sin no more”.

    I agree with you that we are meant to be merciful and to tolerate others faults (specks) because of own faults (planks) and to not judge others. Where I am confused by your position is that you don’t see this as an instruction, a command or “a rule”. If we go against this instruction or command have we not gone against God’s will? Since we so frequently do stray from this instruction it is just as well that God’s grace is sufficient to cover and absolve our transgression, again and again and again.

    I do aggree that the freedom you have been describing in your recent posts is as complete and as profound as you have written. However, I don’t think the freedom you are talking about is as simple.

    For example how do you resolve Mathew 18:15-19

    15 “If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’[d] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

    18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be[e] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[f] loosed in heaven.

    19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

    Obviously we are not to judge them because elsewhere we are instructed not to judge others and we are even threatened by being told that if we judge others we will be judged our selves. Just as if we fail to forgive others we will not be forgiven. The funny thing I find about these versus is that if the “sinners” still refuse to listen even after the issue has been raised with the entire church how are we to treat them?

    As if they are pagans or tax collectors!

    We may not know how Jesus treated pagans but we do know how he treated tax collectors. With love!



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