Tis the season for a party! How many parties compete for your attendance this year? For many, we have all the Christmas parties: family; the in-laws; the work; spouses work, Church programs; the children’s school programs; then there are the friends’ gatherings. You may even have a birthday party or two, maybe even a wedding to attend. Oh and one of my favorites, the Christmas Eve Candlelight service.
But wait there’s more! Many will have New Year’s parties to attend. Some will have a masquerade ball (you dress all up and wear a little mask over your eyes); or a formal party (dress your very best). I have even heard of dress code of the ugliest Christmas sweater with a contest. (I think that would be difficult for me since I personally like most Christmas sweaters). And that’s only this month!
Throughout the year we have many more opportunities for parties. I think we humans will think of just about any reason to get together or throw a party! This shouldn’t come as a surprise though. God said “It is not good for man to be alone.” (Gen. 2:18 NIV). In the book of Leviticus, chapters 23-25, The Lord proclaimed sacred assemblies appointed feasts (parties) of the Lord. These were times set apart for worship. There was to be no work during these feasts. The first listed is the Sabbath! How cool is that? We get to work for 6 days then party with God every 7th day!
Then there were these feasts: the Passover and Unleavened Bread which lasted a week; the Firstfruits; the Feast of the Weeks; the Feast of Trumpets; the Day of Atonement (lasted 24 hours); the Feast of Tabernacles which lasted 7 days. There was even a Sabbath Year. That’s right—every 7th year the land had to rest. Then the year of Jubilee came every 50th year! God felt so strongly about the importance of His people gathering together to worship at these feasts, that if you did not participate, there were serious consequences!
Regardless of the purpose of the party, we find ourselves dressing special (up or down) for these parties. Many fix their hair just right, wear favorite clothes or even buy something special for the occasion. We try to hide bulges or imperfections. Many wear make-up trying to “look better.”
There is one party with no need for any make-up or special clothes. One day, we will stand before the creator of parties, our God, who sees past the make-up—past the wardrobe—past the masks—past the hurts, rejection, fears, struggles—pain, loneliness—past the smiles to our very bare souls, where we can hide nothing! Everything we’ve ever said, thought or done lay bare before His eyes.
But the Good News we celebrate this season is Jesus’ birth into humanity for the very purpose of atoning for our sin and one day making right all the wrongs of this world so that we can celebrate (party) with Jesus for eternity. All those who confess with their mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in their heart that God raised Him from the dead, will be saved and invited to the party of all parties! May you find Christ this Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!
Pastor Kristi J. Rhodes
Hillcrest Community Church
5994 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs, MI 49319