Sermons

Summary: We have taken our cues about how to have fun from the wrong places. When Jesus parties, he includes rather than excludes the misfits; he goes not to participate nor to criticize, but to listen and redeem; and when you party with Jesus, you have joy and z

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Suppose you gave a party and Jesus showed up! What

would that do to your party? He wasn’t on the invitation list,

He didn’t RSVP, but here He comes, making a beeline

straight at you, with arms outstretched in greeting, and about

twelve of his best buds looking eagerly at the buffet table.

Jesus at your party! What do you do? You can’t very well

tell Jesus to leave. That’s not cool. But Jesus at your party?

What’s that all about?

Let’s see. The DJ is already setting up his equipment, and

we were going to dance. Too late to hide the boom box now.

What will Jesus do about that? Can you imagine Jesus

dancing? Jesus with moves? All we ever saw, from

watching those old Bible bathrobe movies, is Jesus trudging

slowly along stony Galilean roads. We never thought of

Jesus dancing. Got to hide the DJ somehow. Oh, I know:

Hey, DJ; you got an arrangement of “Amazing Grace” in your

CD’s?

And let’s see, what else? Ladies, could you cover up a bit?

You don’t have to wear church clothes, but maybe you could

find a shawl or a sweater and find a strategic location? Just

for a few minutes; Jesus won’t stay long. Just sort of fade

into the background until He gets the idea and leaves?

What else? The music, the clothes. Oh, the drinks. We’ve

got some pretty strong stuff out here. It’s not Welch’s grape

juice or Canada Dry ginger ale, if you get my drift. Well,

Jesus will just have to deal with that. I am certainly not going

to ask my guests to put aside their refreshments for one

instant. After all, you can’t have a party without alcohol, now

can you?

Suppose you gave a party and Jesus showed up. What

would that do to your party? What would you need to

change?

The trouble with us is that we do not know how to party. We

do not know how to have a good time. We think we do. We

suppose we know the ingredients for partying are food and

drink, guys and girls, loud music and even louder chatter.

But we’ve taken our cues from all the wrong places. We’ve

listened to the world about how to have a good time. We’ve

never really thought through what it is to be cool. You know

who we’ve listened to. We’ve listened to the alcohol industry

and the music industry and the clothing industry. We’ve

listened to the consumer society. We’ve taken all our cues

about how to enjoy life from the folks who have something to

sell us. But we haven’t watched Jesus partying. We haven’t

seen how this man, who got hungry and thirsty, who thrived

on the company of others, who wanted the human touch --

we haven’t seen how this man Jesus parties. Because when

Jesus shows up at your party, everything changes. The

mood is different, the purpose is different, the outcome is

different.

Suppose you gave a party and Jesus showed up. Well,

Jesus did show up for Levi one day, and asked him, “Are you

ready to have some fun? Levi, are you ready to rumble?”

I

When Jesus parties, He reaches out to include rather than to

exclude. Jesus, when He comes to the party, is there to

reach out and embrace, especially the undesirable and the

marginal. Jesus partying includes rather than excludes.

Jesus went out one day and saw a tax collector named Levi,

sitting at his tax booth. Levi, counting his money. Levi,

running his fingers down his accounts, trying to see where he

could gouge a few more shekels. If ever there was anybody

who was uncool, it was Levi. Levi, all alone, hated and

feared, because he worked for the Romans, he took as

much of your money as he could get, and he was dishonest

as well. I’ll wager nobody had ever invited Levi to a party.

Levi had lived a sad and lonely existence, comforted only by

his little bit of power and touched only by his little pile of gold.

So Jesus walked right up to this misfit and invited Himself

straight into the guy’s life! “Levi, follow me.” Invited

Himself right into Levi’s life and home and everything! Isn’t

that amazing? Doesn’t that jar you loose? It does me. I am

not likely to do anything like that. I’ve taken too many of my

clues about fellowship from the world, and the world says,

“Love only those who love you.” The world says, “Extend

yourself only to those who have reached out to you. Don’t

get outside of your box. Stay calm, stay wary. Watch out,

because you never know what strangers are up to.” The

world says hold back your friendship, keep it for those who

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