When our kids were younger, my wife and I used to spend hours of deliberate planning and preparation to ensure that their birthday parties were successful.
There are many items on the checklist, including sourcing for a child-friendly, weather-proof venue, developing a fun and engaging programme, drawing up the guest list and choosing the flavour and design of the birthday cake.
Not to mention the mandatory goodie bag which entailed us running around Singapore to fill it with exciting treats.
By the end of a birthday party, the children would have a blast while the host-parents would be completely worn out.
Yet we continue this annual tradition because of the joy that it brings to our children and guests.
As adults, we too plan surprise parties for our friends on occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and even wedding proposals. We go the extra mile to make the celebration especially memorable.
We do so not only to share in their joy, but more importantly, because these friends mean a lot to us.
The beauty of earthly celebrations offers us a glimpse into the grander parties in heaven.
In the parables of the lost sheep and the lost coin, Jesus said, "... I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).
This is the divine reality: a heavenly party is held every time someone comes to know the Lord Jesus Christ. Every soul matters to God, and each salvation invokes much rejoicing in the heaven realm!
In Colossians 4:3-6, Paul teaches us how to ”plan” for such a party:
“Pray for us, too, that God will give us many opportunities to speak about his mysterious plan concerning Christ. …. Pray that I will proclaim this message as clearly as I should. Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone.” (New Living Translation)
Our outreach efforts are precursors to the heavenly parties that are waiting to take place. What a privilege it is, that when we pray, care for and share the Gospel with our pre-believing loved ones and friends, we are partnering God to plan for the joyous party.
Be a party planner today!
Lam Kok Hiang has over 30 years of experience in full-time Christian vocational ministry. He holds a MA (Biblical Studies) from Dallas Theological Seminary and has led Cru Singapore as National Team Leader since 2006. An avid runner, Kok Hiang shares a love for books with his wife, Sharon. Together, their desire is to see young leaders rise up in local churches and missions agencies across Asia.
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