Celebrating is lovely

*when we celebrate at our house, we celebrate! Buckets of ice cream anyone? 😉

Session 5 – Celebrating is Lovely
Luke 15 gives us a different take on lovely. For our final day of discovering all things lovely let’s reflect back on the root of lovely being in relationship, or more specifically, friendship.
Luke 15 is a chapter of Scripture packed with parables. These are known as the “Lost parables”, not because someone found the manuscript in a decrepit cave, but because each parable in the chapter has to do with something that was lost, but was found. I personally love the resolution in the parables. In each parable the lost item is found! There is so much peace and joy in knowing that God has His grip where we feel we have lost ours. God’s resolution is complete and enduring.
Let’s read Luke 15 and underline the words “friends” or “neighbors” in the chapter. It’s a bit of a longer passage, but worth it:
15 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ 10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”
“He calls together his friends and neighbors…”
“She calls together her friends and neighbors…”
Now underline in another color the words “rejoice” or “celebrate” or a form of those words.
Do you see it? Do you see the joy overflowing from each person who reserved what was lost to them? Completely and utterly lost?
“Rejoice with me!”
“Let us eat and celebrate.”
Community, real and enduring friendship, is a vital aspect to our faith walk. God created the Church to be in community, not just on any given Sunday morning, but Life Together. Laughing together, crying together, rejoicing together, eating together, and hurting together. These people in the parables are living life together.

This is a huge advantage the church has in this difficult world. Real, and true, and authentic community. Community surrounded and filled and connected by a God who cares greatly about the lost things of this world. A God who came into our lives, who held hands with us, who prays on our behalf, who eats with His friends. Who offers us a thousand opportunities to celebrate that joy with one another every day. God has given us a gift in one another that the world doesn’t even know they are longing for – connection.
Let’s call together our friends and neighbors. Let’s have a lovely party. Let’s celebrate. The Father has run out on the road, robes flailing around Him. He has killed the fatten calf, offered the best food and wine. We once were lost, but now we arefound.


*I’m going to offer a challenge to share one of your favorite study posts from this blog with a particular friend. You can, of course, always share it! But I would love for you to send one of the blogs from the past 5 weeks, that has a message you would like to share to a particular friend. 🙂

*passage taken from the ESV translation

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