Let’s Get the Party Started!
In hearing that title you may be thinking about Pink’s “Get the Party Started” or The Black Eyed Peas “Let’s Get it Started.” Just typing those song titles out I can feel my feet starting to shuffle and tap. But this isn’t a blog about fun music. It’s a blog about needing to have more FUN as Christians.
Why do we need more fun?
I read something recently that really hit home:
"Despite all of the attempts made in recent decades to improve the instruments of the transmission of the faith, the observation is simple: all of the effort put forth thus far has struggled in generating a newness of life that awakens in neighbors and colleagues a curiosity toward what the baptized live in daily life. This says a great deal about the difficulty that we find ourselves facing today as a Church: how to overcome that fracture between faith and life, which makes it more difficult for faith to be encountered in a reasonable way, and therefore attractive in daily life. If we do not succeed in approaching the issue with clarity, then we will continue to make enormous efforts without responding adequately to the root of the problem." Fr. Julian Carron at the Synod of Bishops
A shorter version might be: Non-Christians look at Christians and aren’t attracted to the way they live their life. Ouch. I am not saying I have the root of the problem solved but I do have a proposal…have some good clean fun and party it up! Too often the world sees Christians as being too serious, no fun, and people who suck the life out of shin-digs. The overall attitude is that partying and being a Christian are mutually exclusive. The world knows what we are against but not what we are for. As a FOCUS staff member, I have heard it said, “The college students must really need your ministry to reach out to them because they are so lost in the ‘party lifestyle.’”
Who said the world’s definition of partying is right?
We see examples of parties throughout the Bible: Levi and Jesus dining with the “lowest of the low” in society, Old Testament feasts, banquets and luxurious parties mentioned in parables about the Kingdom of God. Jesus partied—he turned water into wine, right?! It’s true; he did. I bet it was delicious! Jesus being the life of the party seems confusing when our culture tells us the guy from Animal House frat parties with a “college” T-shirt on is the life of the party. We don’t have to adapt and accept our culture’s view of partying though. I think it’s time to reclaim it and show the world what a real party looks like!
This is not an encouragement to drink underage, excessively, or engage in other aspects of partying that do not honor God. Rather, this type of partying is a lifestyle marked by the supernatural joy that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection bring to our lives. Wouldn’t it be cool to live your life in such a way that people settling for the “worldly” definition of partying sat back and thought, “Why am I settling with drinking and black-outs? That guy over there looks so happy… I need to ask him what his secret is!”
Are you Soberly Intoxicated with the Holy Spirit?
As Christians our joy should be as magnetic as the believers’ in Acts during Pentecost, when people mistook an outpouring of the Spirit for drunkenness. We are to be marked by supernatural joy and spirits of celebration, embracing each day as a party for Jesus.
The Church already understands this…check out this prayer:
Soul of Christ, sanctify me, Body of Christ, save me, Blood of Christ, inebriate me, Water from Christ's side, wash me, Passion of Christ, strengthen me, O good Jesus, hear me, Within Thy wounds hide me, Suffer me not to be separated from Thee, From the malicious enemy defend me, In the hour of my death call me, And bid me come unto Thee, That I may praise Thee with Thy saints, and with Thy angels, Forever and ever, Amen.
How can I have more fun everyday life?
It’s not about going to parties and abstaining from everything while sitting in the corner with our arms crossed, judging everyone else; this doesn’t embody the love of Christ for others. In fact, nothing about that posture will create interest for others to know Jesus. But someone in the same circumstances who is filled with the celebratory spirit Jesus desires us to have can truly witness in an authentic and powerful way. We can learn from these people:
OK so maybe you aren’t a nun or a priest…but two everyday examples of incarnational living:
A friend of mine from college drove her sorority sisters to parties, dressed up for themed events, and danced all night alcohol-free. Her sisters were always stumped about why she had more fun than them at every party and event, which opened the door for many late-night spiritual conversations.
Another friend remembers dressing up one night for a capture-the-flag event with Greek friends on campus. She came tearing down the stairs in all black, pigtails in full throttle, and black stripes under her eyes. She was dressed to win. A few sorority sisters sitting in the living room stopped her to inquire about her plans. She simply told them where she was off to and caught a few comments – “You are always having fun,” and “I should get out and did things like that.”
Everyone wants to be happy and is attracted to JOY in others. When we are having fun our joy can be perceived by others more readily. Jesus encouraged a spirit of celebration and a life overflowing with joy. That sounds like the life of the party to me! So what are you waiting for? Let’s get the party started!
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Let’s Get the Party Started!
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Since the pontificates of Pope Paul VI and John Paul II, the Roman Catholic Church has been commissioned to engage and embrace the world with God's message of love once more with ‘new methods, new ardor and new expression.’ It has come to be phrased, 'the new evangelization.'
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