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Party God

By Nandi Roszhart
By Rachel Smith
By Leah Vanhorn
By Janett Miller
By Isaac Harris
By Charlyn Valencia
By Chad Golden
By Bruce Riley
By Jonathan Cortina
By Kuruvilla (K.O.) Oommen
By John Dyer
By Abe Paul
By Jennifer Durrett
By Penny Jones
By Amy Owen
By Jill Asibelua
By Madi McGraw
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Norm Headlam
By Kristi Herring
By Alban Snider
By Sissy Mathew
By Shannon Pugh
By Al Palamara
By Don Robb
By Mike Pope
By Melanie Mechsner
By Kyla Mikusek
By Michelle Garza
By Armando Galvan
By Jeremiah Betron
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Shannon Lewis
By Chase Studdard
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Amy Aupperlee
By Tiffany Stein
By Barry Jones
By Bryan Eck
By Tricia Kinsman
By Jason Stein
By Nat Pugh
By Sarah Kemper
By Dana Myers
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Scott McClellan
By Andy McQuitty
By Pete Hyndman
By Kevin Dial
By Lead Team
By Jason Roszhart
By Harvard Medical School
By Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
By Sherene Joseph
By Earl Davidson
By Rebecca Perry
By Joe Padilla
By Christian Melendez
By Bruce Riley
By Isaac Harris
By Amy Leadabrand
By Ben Haile
By Shaun Robinson
By Natalie Franks
By Cathy Barnett
By Ryan Sanders
By Casey Pruet, The Grace Alliance
By Sharon Arrington
By Lauren Chapin
By Betsy Paul
By Alberto Negron
By Kelly Jarrell
By Michelle Mayes
By Jenn Wright
By Jill Jackson
By Terri Moore
By Robyn Wise
By Katherine Holloway
By Richard Ray
By Kurtlery Knight
By Bruce Hebel
By Neil Tomba
By Tony Bridwell
By Grayson McGovern
By Luke Donohoo
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Mike Moore
By Wade Raper
By Mike Gwartney
By Jo Saxton
By Dieula Previlon
By Jonathan Cude
By Ken Lawrence
By Jay Hohfeler
By Barb Haesecke
By Lindsay Casillas
By JoAnn Hummel
By Shawn Small
By Alice McQuitty
By Jonathan Murphy
By Peggy Norton
By Brent McKinney
By Irving Bible Church
By Irving Bible Church
By Ashley Tieperman
By Betsy Nichols
By Trey Grant
By Debbie Lucien
By Sue Edwards
By Suzie Robinson
By Paul Smith

So I’m reading straight through the Bible this year, which is all fun and games as long as you’ve got miracles and floods and plagues and such. But then you get to Leviticus and the bottom falls out. Leviticus is where Bible reading plans go to die. 

This morning, I was reading Leviticus 23 where God starts to prescribe feasts for the Israelites. There are a lot of them: sabbath feasts and harvest feasts; festivals of new moons and festivals of trumpets. In fact, God commanded the children of Israel to celebrate seven annual feasts, one monthly feast, one weekly sabbath, and a sabbath year feast every seven years. If you add all that up, in a typical year, Israel celebrated 71 feasts! That’s a lot of partying! 

And, come to think of it, our story is going to end with a party too. 

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.”Revelation 19:6-7

What does it say about God that he’s so into parties? It may mean that we’ve misunderstood what it means to follow him. C.S. Lewis wrote, 

The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.C.S. Lewis

I love that quote because it invites us to understand that enjoyment not as an add-on but as essential to the Christian life. Lewis wasn’t talking about clever ice breakers to make church meetings less boring. He wasn’t just saying that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. He's saying that our medicine is sweet! That the best thing for us — the thing that will heal us and make us holy — is also the most enjoyable thing in the universe! To know God and enjoy him forever! As the bards of Caedmon’s Call have sung, “You created nothing that gives me more pleasure than you, and you won't give me something that gives me more pleasure than you."

So God is in favor of fun. He commands time away from productivity in favor of feasting and festivities and personal connections and worship.

This weekend, February 7, the entire IBC family will gather for one service at 10:45 a.m. to celebrate the great good news of the God who rejoices over us. Then, that night, many of our IBC Home Groups will host neighborhood Super Bowl parties to extend the fun-loving hospitality of Christians to those outside the party. Next weekend — and every weekend — we have an opportunity to embody the life of faith in a winsome way, to love one another well because the God of joy loved us first, to live out the good news in a way that makes it actually seem like good news. 

That kind of faith might even make Leviticus fun.

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