Advent: The Party Party.
Thus says Yahweh, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am Yahweh your God and teach you for your own good, I lead you in the way you ought to go.
'For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, "He is possessed." The Son of man came, eating and drinking, and they say, "Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners." Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.'
Those verses are from today's advent reading during a week of scriptures that have largely been about reorienting toward the Messiah, turning from self and religious law to the way of Jesus. As it turns out, the way of Jesus often lead him to a party, and often under nefarious circumstances.
As much as I loath Victoria secret models telling me which underwear I should buy for my wife in order to properly celebrate the physical incarnation of the God I'm trying to serve, there is something about our cultural Christmas that I hope we don't lose: the party. After all, when the shepherds who visited the infant Christ told everyone they had seen the long awaited, long talked about, often guessed at, Messiah, the hope for their nation, and as we now know, the hope for the world, it was probably looked more like a bunch of Ohio State students on High Street after a game against Michigan than it did Jehovah's Witnesses.
I know this is a bit early, and forgive me for jumping over Advent, but I'm going to make a new years resolution. A friend of mine in Baltimore tells me he's going to start a political party that's all about partying. He's going to call it the party party. I'm joining. And why shouldn't I? A large part of the Advent of Jesus as I've personally experienced it has been getting over myself and a religious seriousness that largely only served to make me feel ashamed and incompetent rather than the much more joyful and appreciative sense of being loved and accepted that I feel now. Why not spend more time adventing the latter?
It seems silly that I would have to commit myself to partying more. You don't try to party –you just party. It is silly, but the best way I've found to change something is to keep failing at it until I deeply comprehend the need and finally let God step in.
The advent of partying isn't only about celebrating what has happened, but what will happen. While I'm admittedly in flux right now over how I think God will wrap up human history (though I'm pretty sure whatever Left Behind said probably won't happen), I do believe more than anything that it culminates in a party, the marriage feast of the lamb. Which is why Jesus first miracle was wine for a wedding, and the best wine.
He came eating and drinking. As often as we eat and drink we do it in remembrance of Him, knowing He will come again –and He'll be bringing a party.
I shared this video before, but it bears repeating:
peace party of the Lord Christ go with you : wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness : protect you through the storm; may he bring you home rejoicing : at the wonders he has shown you;