There are birthdays, baptisms, graduations, weddings, baby showers, parties, conferences and funerals. We all have events in our lives that are important. At each of these events we find people, some we know well and others we will come to know. We share time, memories, food, and drinks.
A few Sundays ago was youth takeover Sunday at our church. Although I serve the youth in my church I missed the celebration and the worship due to a previously scheduled family vacation, but I had an opportunity to watch our youth pastor’s sermon and catch up on the events while away. I wanted to take a minute and share some of my thoughts.
As Christians, we have the opportunity to celebrate forgiveness and a reunited relationship with God that can be obtained no other way.
Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to Jesus, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going. So how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me. — Jn 14:1-6
Jesus is the source of our party and we take it wherever we go. In my travels, I had the opportunity to listen to the audiobook, “Captive in Iran” by authors Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh, and contributor Anne Graham Lotz. Everywhere Maryam and Marziyeh went they started a party and Jesus was at the center of it. There was a party on the streets of Iran, a party in the police station when they were arrested, and a party in Evin prison, one of the worst prisons in Iran.
In the midst of persecution, there was a unity of people, a coming together of one mind and a filling of the moment with the Holy Spirit in spite of sickness, filthy prison conditions, and treatment. Maryam and Marziyeh shared with us a story of God’s remarkable faithfulness in the face of grave persecution and even showed us how God is in control in spite of what the enemy throws at us. The Jesus party happened because He was the center of all they did.
The most remarkable part of this story from my perspective as an American is that God raised up two women in Iran to make a difference in the lives of other Iranians. In spite of what we think we know and believe about other people, God never abandons those who truly seek him and he loves to be the center of a party no mater where it happens. The important thing to him is that you’re at the party with him. He’s sent out he invitations and you’ve been invited.
Are you going to join the party?