Monday Morning Devotion-May 15, 2023
Why Jesus Went to Parties
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee Jesus' mother was there and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding." John 2:1-2
Seems like every time I turn around these days a party invitation crops up. That’s to be expected because it’s graduation time for colleges, high schools even kindergarten. Even though I don’t consider myself a party animal. One who parties just to party. I do enjoy a nice get together for a purpose. And yes, I do like to have fun. Well, we are not alone in enjoying parties even Jesus liked to go to a party. This week's devotion is excerpted from Max Lucado's book; "When God Whispers Your Name." It is taken from Chapter Two entitled "Why Jesus Went to Parties." Isn't that nice that Max chose that title which is the same as the title of my devotion? Just kidding. Lucado, is pastor of Oak Hills church in San Antonio, Texas. He has written over 100 books that have sold over 100 million copies, so that certainly qualifies his work to join our devotional group. :) Thanks in advance Max for sharing your work with us. I haven't read all 100 of your books but I have read quite a few and enjoy your writing style.
You have to admit it's a catchy title. One that captivates people and convinces them to read further. Since we are all party people, well maybe not all of us, but if you aren't I'm sure you know some folks who like to party. Not everybody thinks of Christians when they think of party people. Let's see what Pastor Lucado was talking about.
Why was Jesus invited to that wedding party at Cana in Galilee in the first place? He wasn't that well-known and hadn't even performed a miracle…yet! Lucado says: "Jesus' purpose was not to show off but to show up. He went to great pains to be as human as the guy down the street. He didn't need to study. But he still went to the synagogue. He had no need for income, but still worked in the carpenter's workshop."
People actually liked Him and that's why He was invited to this party. Lucado points out that Jesus eventually may have been accused of being a blasphemer, but they never called Him a braggart. He would be accused of heresy, but never arrogance. He was called a radical but never said to be unapproachable.
Why did Jesus drag his disciples off to a party? "His purpose wasn't to turn water into wine. That was a favor for his friends. His purpose wasn't to show His power. The wedding host didn't even know what Jesus did. His purpose wasn't to preach. There is no record of a sermon."
Lucado says: "May I state an opinion that may raise an eyebrow? May I tell you why I think Jesus went to the wedding? I think He went to the wedding to---now hold on, hear me out, let me say it before you heat the tar and pluck the feathers---I think Jesus went to the wedding to have fun.
Think about it. It's been a tough season. Forty days in the desert. No food or water. A standoff with the devil. A week breaking in some greenhorn Galileans. A job change. He's left home. It hasn't been easy. A break would be welcome. Good meal with some good wine and some good friends…well, it sounds pretty nice. So off they go."
“That really leaves only one reason. Fun! Jesus went to the wedding because he liked the people, he liked the food, and heaven forbid, he may have even wanted to swirl the bride around the dance floor a time or two."
That poses a good question, one that deserves some thought. "Where did we get the notion that a good Christian is a solemn Christian? Who started the rumor that the sign of a disciple is a long face? How did we create this idea that the truly gifted are the heavy-hearted?"
Interesting thoughts. I wonder if sometimes we don't get too uptight about things and forget to enjoy this wonderful life we have been gifted with? Maybe as the pressure mounts, we forget to have fun.
Sarah Young in Jesus Calling shares His thoughts: "Make me your focal point as you move through this day. Just as a spinning ballerina must keep returning her eyes to a given point to maintain her balance, so you must keep returning your focus to Me. Circumstances are in flux, and the world seems to be whirling around you. The only way to keep your balance is to fix your eyes on Me, the One who never changes. If you gaze too long at your circumstance you will become confused. Look to Me, refreshing yourself in My presence and your steps will be steady and sure."
What if Jesus is telling you to go have a good time that He is in control and He will take care of things? He knows that the fun and camaraderie of a party with friends can lift your spirits.
Lucado adds this bit of advice: "Loosen up. Don't you have some people to hug, rocks to skip, or lips to kiss…Someday you are going to learn to paint; might as well be now. Someday you’re going to retire: Why not today? Not retire from your job, just retire from your attitude. Honestly, has complaining ever made the day better? Has grumbling ever paid the bills? Has worrying about tomorrow ever changed it? Let someone else run the world for a while.'
Jesus took time for a party…shouldn't we.?
Prayer: Thank you Lord for modeling how to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously. Amen!