I cannot help but see the stark contrast between Jesus and present day Christianity. It is almost as if they are two different faiths… one separated, cloistered its own subculture; the other, on the streets, in the slums, and the suburbs, alike.

One, trying to be holy through self-improvement and dissociation, the other being holy through relationships and involvement with people wherever they are, but especially, if they are shut out by the rest of the culture. One goes to church. The other goes to parties.

Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding feast. He went to a party at Mathew, the tax collector’s house with a bunch of his friends, including other tax collectors. By the way, tax collectors were usually dishonest and skimmed money off the top for themselves. It doesn’t seem like Jesus ever turned down an invitation.

He was accused of being a drunkard, a glutton, and a friend of sinners. The last accusation was actually true and was never denied by Jesus.

Why would the Son of God go to parties?

He loved people and he doesn’t have favorites. Everybody is his favorite.

Where I live in the Great Lakes region, we have a lot of outdoor festivals and concerts in our two warm months. Every outdoor event is in July or August, because the weather is just too iffy in the spring and fall. I love to be outside. I love music. I love people. And I love parties! So, we go to several of these events every year. Sometimes when I look around and see people of all ages having a good time, I have had a strange moving sort of feeling come over me.

Actually, I have been moved to tears. It definitely, hit me at both my son and daughter’s wedding reception. There is something so encouraging about seeing everybody having fun. People were eating and drinking, dancing and playing, joking and conversing, enjoying old relationships and making new ones. It’s strangely, healing.

We need one another. We need to let our hair down and have fun. We need more parties!

Don’t you think Jesus enjoyed mixing it up with people? Don’t you think he enjoyed seeing people celebrate their marriage? He must have had fun watching the tax collector and Zealot (the rough equivalent of an occupy activist and a corporate CEO) at the same party, along with some fishermen known to be hot heads. I think he smiled and laughed with the best them. He was probably an awesome dancer, too!

The “religious heat” hated that he went to parties. Everybody else loved it!

Go to more parties! Plan some of your own! 

From my book, An Irreligious Faith.  

About Glenn

Glenn Hager is a blogger, former newspaper columnist, and author of two books, An Irreligious Faith and Free Range Faith.
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