Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Party Time

This neighborhood parties big time! All through the summer, at Halloween, Christmas, and New Year's. The Christmas party blends neighbors and one family's friends and relatives. Nick and I went together, while my in-laws were showering and prepping.... we returned, they left, and they stayed until almost 2am! This particular host family makes everything fun, and the shared food tastes delicious. Her sister even comes in from New York City to share her professional bar-tending skills.

But not every Christmas party is great. We've all patiently waited through some version of awkward  whether for work, family, a significant other's friends, or neighbors. I'm not writing about oddball relatives or the poor choice of drinking to the point of not being fun anymore. As a Christian, I shrug off almost anything - what's hits my heart deepest, though, falls into the 'trying too hard' category.

What is it about our celebrations of Jesus' birthday that puts pressure on people to appear like they have it all together? Please, let's release each other - and say so verbally - from any kind of perfection. Because I know I'll never be perfect, and I suspect you feel the same way.

A good read, given from a good friend, had this to say about living from a Christian perspective:
"You use your life to do that which is timeless and eternal (God's purpose) in a timely and contemporary way (in your generation). You serve that which never changes (God's Word) in a setting that is constantly changing (the world).
 Give yourselves completely to God - every part of you - for you are back from death and you want to be tools in the hands of God, to be used for his good purposes."
In the face of my previous post about perseverance (good for going so far), God's grace fills up the spaces where I always end up falling short (complete and whole). And the difference in perspective permeates our whole lives. So, when I hang out at a neighborhood party with friends, I'm on the look out for how God can use me to speak his truth of grace into their lives.

How about you? How do you turn the conversations about success and significance, to one about purpose, especially God's purpose and grace for each person? Makes those parties - even the awkward ones - much more worthwhile, I promise.

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