Australians generally do not need a good excuse to have a party. Any reason for a good booze-up is good enough. And the test of how good the party was depends on how little of it is finally remembered. It seems that the celebration is done in spite of, rather than because of what is happening in the world. They drink to forget rather than to remember.
Jesus loved parties. He spoke of them often, and used them to illustrate what the kingdom is like. A wedding banquet, a celebration of a returned son, a feast; each of them is used in parables of the kingdom. Indeed Jesus' first recorded miracle was at a wedding. Even the Lord's Supper was meant to be a celebration - a joyous celebration - of what Jesus has done for us. We are to eat and drink to remember not to forget.
Sadly, it seems, the Christian Church has lost the art of celebration. The image of the church in the community is one of wowserism - stopping that which is fun - rather than one of happiness and joy. Granted, there is much in this world which gives us cause not to celebrate, but at the same time, we are inheritors of the kingdom! We have been invited to the wedding feast of the King of Kings!! AND we have the privilege of being able to invite others...
Let us learn again to celebrate the life that God has given us - a life to be shared with others. When others see the celebration, they will want to know how they can join in. And Australians love a party even more when there is good reason to celebrate.
March 17, 1991
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