Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
We tend to think of church life as somewhat serious. We are to be reverent, quiet, and very respectful. There should not be a lot of energy or exuberance. A little is OK, but children should definitely not run or be too loud. While this may be a typical attitude for us to have in worship and our Christian lives in general, we should not neglect other manners of living as followers of Christ, especially when they are deeply rooted in the Gospels.
Jesus tells a parable about a shepherd losing one sheep, searching high and low to find it, and then celebrating with his neighbors when it is found. He tells another parable of a woman who searches every nook and cranny of her house to find a coin and celebrates with her neighbors when it is found. Jesus shares yet another about a son who squanders his inheritance, but is welcomed with a grand celebration when he returns to his family. Think about how many parables Jesus tells that take place at a wedding banquet or some other kind of joyous gathering.
Time and time again, Jesus uses celebrations to describe the kingdom of God and to illustrate what life as a follower of Jesus might be like. When my wife and I have a celebration, we call it a party, so what would it be like if we lived our lives as Christ’s followers as if we were invited to a wonderful party? How would our lives be different if our attitude toward church and Christianity was to see our life as a party: a celebration fit for kings, queens, professionals, jacks of all trades, you, me, and them?
Jesus’ party changes lives, and leads to abundant life. Let’s not forget our invitation to his party.
Aaron Linville, pastor, Millwoods Community Moravian Church