DayBreaks for 12/04/12 – Let the Wedding Revel Begin
Luke 5:33-39 (NLT) – One day some people said to Jesus, “John the Baptist’s disciples fast and pray regularly, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees. Why are your disciples always eating and drinking?”
34 Jesus responded, “Do wedding guests fast while celebrating with the groom? Of course not. 35 But someday the groom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast.”
Advent is upon us. Advent is about the coming of Christ. In particular, we celebrate His coming as the Christ-child in Bethlehem during this season. It also points us to the Second Advent – His return in glory to deliver His people and to judge the world.
The ancient Jews had waited for the Advent for a couple thousand years. Perhaps that is why so many of their songs were melancholy. They awaited deliverance. They awaited the anticipated joy of the arrival of the Messiah.
In today’s text, Jesus was confronted because of the joy of his disciples. If we were to put it in modern vernacular, we might say that the people were upset because his disciples were to raucous, too joyful. Why is it that people have the impression that religious folk are supposed to be sour-pusses? How did they get that impression? I can only think that it is because of one thing: we tend to be sour-pusses.
Jesus’ disciples didn’t see it that way. I don’t for one second believe that as his disciples reveled and celebrated with significant abandon that Jesus was sitting on a stool in a dark corner of the room with a frown and scowl on his face. I believe if he’d been doing that, his disciples would have imitated him. That’s what followers of rabbis did – imitate their master to learn to be like him. So, what can we conclude? I believe Jesus was a great “celebrater”!!!!
I wonder how much the expression of our relationship with Jesus resembles revelers at a wedding? I suspect that it is more like the second part of Jesus’ statement: it seems as if we have gone into fasting, as if Jesus is not here. What would we look like if we were riotously joyful? How would the world’s perception of us change? We are so busy being strict and looking for evil to condemn that we forget we have great reason to celebrate!!!!
Of course, we live with a strange dichotomy: Jesus is with is (Immanuel, “I will never leave you or forsake you”, etc.), yet we await His return (“I will come again and receive you unto myself”). So, we should be characterized as people of incredible joy and also those with a great anticipation for His return.
There comes a time when it is necessary to do a new thing (new wineskins and new wine). The old will no longer suffice. It often takes great courage to do something new. It stretches us, we find ourselves in unfamiliar confines, but as we grow and expand, we become more of the people that God created us to be and longs to see us become. This month, and then this year, let’s all try to be people of celebration!
PRAYER: Let us revel in the great joy of belonging to you, Jesus! In Your name, Amen.
Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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