Jesus’ first miracle was to turn water into wine at a huge party (John 2:1-11). The Pharisees criticized him because He came “eating and drinking” and hanging out with tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19). Jesus knew how to have a good time, and we can see this in the way the “party people” of His day were attracted to Him. Recently some of our friends from World Exchange, a secular company we’ve partnered with that helps to send Central Asian students to America for the summer, asked us to help them throw a big American party. With Jesus as our example, here are a few highlights from the spectacular shindig we helped throw.
Twister: Central Asian-style! That’s my friend Mohammed from Saudi Arabia
on the far left. I played it once and got about 4 rounds in before my old man
hips gave out on me.
Some of our team teaching the people at the party how to dance a hoedown.
Alright. It was from Hannah Montana. I am not proud.
We dressed up and parodied the JK Wedding dance. I do, indeed, look stunning.
My roommate Jon (guess which one he his!) showing some of the Central Asians
his sweet moves.
Conga! And yes, that is a tie around my head.
My friend Dilshod (“David”) from Tajikistan dancing like it ain’t no thang.
We had an amazing time. Along with what you can see from the pictures, we played games on the Wii; we had a table set up with an infuriating dice game that messes with your mind; and we played “Who Wants To Be an M&Maire?” with questions about America. At the end we just danced like there was no tomorrow. It was so fun that typing it does it no justice.
The reason I tell you this is not only to let you know that I’m having a great time, but to let you know one of the mightiest ways that the Kingdom comes. Salta, one of the wonderful girls who helps run World Exchange (at only 21 years-old!) and who isn’t a believer, thanked us for throwing such a great party. And then she said something that I think should be the mantra of every believer everywhere: “I don’t know… there’s just something different about you guys.” She’s visited America, and she’s encountered Americans who love to party and to get trashed and treat women poorly, but in us she encountered a group of people who have a fantastic time–with integrity. And she’s not the only one who noticed. My friend Behzohd, a Muslim student from Tajikistan, came to the last Gathering, and I wasn’t sure if he was going to come back. But after seeing how much fun we are, how loving and non-confrontational we are, he told me that he’s going to be at the Gathering tomorrow night. Similarly, I can see Dilshod, who said he wasn’t going to come to another Gathering since he’s a Muslim, warming to the idea.
Yes, Jesus attracted people to Him because of His love, but He also attracted people to Him because He knew how to have a good time. Let the age of the boring Church be behind us.