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Parties, Pagans and Possibilities  

With graduation and wedding seasons upon us, my wife and I have lately been to more than our share of parties. Sprinkled into that mix: three funerals.  Recently, Diana and I attended a gathering that stretched our comfort zone.

   

He clutched secrets of his own...

For example, there was the newly married couple, both at least in their sixties or maybe seventies.  Theirs was not a wedding that we attended, but mixing with them was easy. She blabbed effortlessly—unendingly.  He was as silent as drying paint.

 

Still, the white-haired groom clutched secrets of his own.  A financial analyst by day, he was an artist by night.  We were informed he would soon be creating a charcoal drawing of his new wife—sans clothing.  Talk about too much information!

 

Say what?!

Also seated at our table was a lady who proudly told us she was a belly dancer.  Her hair weavings, jewelry and makeup all gave powerful evidence to back up her claim.  With due respect to the physical fitness and coordination such a dance requires, she was definitely a bit old for such a hobby.  Likewise, her husband, who plays in a rock band. 

 

This gathering also brought us rollicking recollections of memories drenched in too much alcohol, the stories punctuated with bawdy laughter.  We were way outside our normal social circle. 

 

How much of Jesus did they see?

But isn’t this the type of setting in which Jesus would have been found?  Aren’t these the very kinds of people He made a priority?   Surely a crowd like this was what the Pharisees had in mind when they accused Jesus of hanging out with “tax collectors and ‘sinners’.

 

Here’s what I think the Holy Spirit might be trying to teach me (and maybe you).   The fact that I might have been uncomfortable was less important than the need these people had for an encounter with an authentic Jesus-loving person.  The real issue was not my personal comfort, but what they personally took away from our encounter.  Exactly how much of Jesus did they see?  Did I put the spotlight on Him?

 

Parties…pagans…and possibilities.  They are all a great reminder of Christ’s words in Luke 5:32: “I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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