Summary: True or false: God loves to party?
A Common Problem: Church is boring.
- Why is church so often a joy-less affair?
- Ask for participation on boring services they’ve been to. My story: the guy in Louisville who fluffed up his jacket, laid down in the pew, and went to sleep.
- Further, why are Christians so often long-faced, prune-eating prudes?
An “Are You Serious?” Truth: The Father loves to party.
- Now, me saying that might make you uncomfortable. It sounds disrespectful, even sacrilegious. But stick with me for a few minutes.
- Why we have trouble believing that:
a. There seems to be a tendency for the serious believers to be super-serious, super-pious, and holier-than-thou.
- The Pharisees were certainly an example of this, but they are in voluminous company.
- Too often, the key behaviors within a church are dignity and respectability.
b. So many church services that we’ve been to have been boring.
Can You Prove That?
1. In the Old Testament Law that God gave to Moses, He instructed Israel to set aside 10% of their income for parties.
- Deuteronomy 12:10-18 (this is only the Festival tithe).
- Obviously, there were religious reasons for this, but primarily the motive was for Israel to remember what God had done for them and to celebrate His faithfulness and provision.
- If you would rather say, “festivals” than “parties,” you can, but the point remains.
- These were not just 2-hour gatherings, but multiple-day blowouts.
- There were religious points to these gatherings: to remember what God had done for them in the past, but make no mistake that they were great parties.
2. Of all the times and places Jesus could have chosen for His first miracle, it was a miracle to keep the party going.
- John 2:1-10.
3. Jesus was someone who sinners loved to be around.
4. The only place in the Bible where Jesus tells three stories back-to-back that all make the same point, the conclusion is celebration.
- Luke 15:6-7, 9-10, 22-24.
5. In Jesus’ parables, the Kingdom of God is compared more than once to a party the King is inviting everyone to.
6. A centerpiece of our heavenly celebration is a massive wedding party.
How Could We Be More Like That?
1. Worship should be punctuated with joy.
- You can’t have it all the time – you can’t and shouldn’t constantly maintain that kind of an atmosphere. It’s just not healthy or sustainable. But if we have been saved and adopted, shouldn’t we have a reason to smile?
- There is certainly a need for times of somber reflection, but we shouldn’t sit around feeling guilty all the time.
- Something as simple as “Amens!”
2. Celebrations at someone’s salvation, a baptism, or communion.
3. Budgeting money to have good parties.
4. Imagine a God of joy.
- If all that is good in this world is a reflection of God, then joy has to have come from Him.
- Teihard de Chardin said that joy is a sure sign of the presence of God.