Day: April 4, 2011

towards a theology of partying

I’ve only fairly recently started to ‘get’ parties.

It’s probably got a fair bit to do with my tendency to introversion, but I never really got what most people seemed to find so enjoyable about parties.

I mean why would anyone in their right mind want to spend hours at a time with people they may or may not know — not being able to have anything that even remotely resembles a conversation (because the music is too loud, etc)?

To be fair, I have had many surprisingly deep and interesting conversations at parties. But, looking back, I suspect the unpredictability of these encounters only aggravated my chronic inclination to find someone I knew and attach myself to them for the duration of the party (I guess I figured they were the most likely to deliver on the ‘deep and meaningful’ conversation I was craving).

I imagine this contributed to my reputation for being ‘a bit intense’.

But, like I said, I think I’m finally starting to grasp what might be good and right about eating, dancing, drinking, listening to music, sitting through speeches, having photos taken with people whose names you’ll hardly ever remember, and all the rest.

While it’d probably be deficient if this was the sum total of your relationships, there is an important place for simply being together.

It’s about celebrating. Making shared memories. You know, stuff you can talk about later (or at least tag on Facebook)?

And so it doesn’t necessarily have to one deep and world-view up-ending conversation after another.

In fact, the longings partying taps into — and more or less adequately express — reflect something profound about the nature of reality, and of the God at its heart.

This God prioritised being with us. He showed up. In human history. In person.

And although this went hand in hand with doing something for us (something we were powerless to do for ourselves), its goal was to have us united with him — the biblical word for which is fellowship.

Little wonder then that the Lord Jesus gained a reputation as a glutton and a drunkard!