"I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”—Luke 15:7
The misconception is that the Church shouldn’t party. There's a stigma that it's boring and lifeless.
However, Jesus made a big deal out of partying—celebrating abundant life given through the forgiveness of sins. Speaking directly to religious leaders, followers, and sinners alike He shared a few pivotal illustrations on celebrating what is lost, being found:
The Lost Sheep— “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’' Luke 15:4-6
The Lost Coin— “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10
The Prodigal Son— "But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate." Luke 15:22-24
Then He said to the Church, “‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’” Luke 15: 31-32
To Jesus, new life was worth taking a time out to party. As God's people, we have abundant life given through Jesus. This means we should be the greatest expression of love, joy, excitement, and celebration that the world could ever know.
Renovation is all about lives being renovated by the love of Jesus. And we’ll celebrate often through recognition of God at work—celebrating every life that begins that renovation process, no matter where they are in the journey from being lost to being found. A heart of surrender is ultimately what we’re after. When that collides with the gift of love, fueled by compassion, it will always bring about a heavenly celebration.
So, in the same vein as Wayne and Garth from Wanye’s World, “Party on, Wayne! Party on, Garth!” So party on, Church! Turn the music up—Every new life is worth it.