Party-person or party-pooper?

Listening to some religious people you’d think that God thoroughly disapproves of anyone enjoying themselves in any way. But especially disapproves of people enjoying themselves at a good party. Far better to stay away and be miserable. But Jesus was a party person. And not a party pooper.

It’s on record that Jesus enjoyed good food and good wine. So much so that the religious authorities accused him of being a glutton and a drunkard. Though of course he could also enjoy more homely food - a bit of bread and a couple of fish.

It’s on record that he enjoyed good company. And even more, it seems he enjoyed bad company, was glad to spend time with men and women that respectable society didn’t think he should waste his time on.

It’s on record that he enjoyed sitting at the meal table with friends, and sometimes with enemies, eating, drinking, talking, arguing – and sharing jokes. He told a good laugh – though the humour of his stories often seems to pass us by when we’re sitting in church.

It’s on record that he enjoyed parties so much that he often used the idea of the party, the banquet, and the wedding feast, as a way of describing the kingdom of God.

It’s on record that he rescued a flagging wedding reception by transforming water into wine. Not just ordinary plonk, but good rich red wine. And not just a couple of bottles – but 150 gallons of it.

And it’s on record that he chose to say goodbye to his closest friends by throwing them a party. We might imagine the Last Supper as a sad and solemn affair, and it did end with one of his friends deciding to betray him, but it was nevertheless - a party.

And most Sundays what we’re celebrating in church is a party – a meal at which Jesus is the host, and we’re all the guests. We gather at his table so he can share with us the best of bread and the best of wine. We’re all invited. You too.

With love

Rev’d Lorna