We have friends who don't get very excited about holidays. Our family, however, well, we get downright giddy when a special day pops up on the calendar.

Obviously, we throw a shindig for all the usual suspects (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Independence Day), and we make a big deal out of anniversaries, and any day when one of our boys loses a tooth. In fact, we celebrate birthday-week! One day just isn't enough! The theme of partying, feasting, rejoicing, laughing, emerges consistently in Scripture. Whenever God's kingdom breaks in, you find people rejoicing. In Deuteronomy, Moses lays out God's instructions for all the details of how the Israelite nation is to structure their community. He offers a blueprint of tithes whereby the people would fund their worship and the livelihood of their leaders and, yes, their parties. God wanted these parties to be festive and lavish. The people were to bring "the new wine . . . the firstborn males of [their] flocks and herds" (Deuteronomy 14:23). God placed a high priority on the people remembering to throw feasts where they would rejoice and remember, together, that their God is kind and generous and the Giver of all gifts that are "good and perfect" (James 1:17).

When Jesus appeared on the scene, He brought the same message. Jesus' first miracle was at a wedding feast (John 2:1-12), and He was noted as one who "feasts and drinks." The Pharisees even used Jesus' noted attendance at parties as an accusation against Him, calling Him a "glutton and drunkard" (Matthew 11:19).

The message of the kingdom is clear: When Jesus is present, there is reason to party. , Winn Collier

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