Loving people, Jesus enjoyed a party

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Jesus loved a party. Often we read how Jesus participated in a party or a dinner or special event in people’s lives. He understood the importance of marking milestones and appreciating people. It’s an example we would do well to follow.

Today I had a special opportunity to visit with a wonderful friend. She is 99 years young and carries herself with all the grace and charm of her years. We had set up a date to celebrate our birthday month; she the 8th and me the 21st.

I often visit with her and, although she is in a care facility, she always has some hot water in her microwave and has squirreled away some sweet bread or other treat for us to share with our tea.

This time I told her I would provide the sweets if she took care of the tea. I went to a downtown bakery and purchased a variety of cupcakes, and when we got there she choose a German chocolate and I a red velvet.

I put a candle in each of them and even though neither of us would brag about our singing, we sat and sang happy birthday together, made our wishes and blew out our candles.

She was so pleased because this was the first time in quite a while she had been able to blow her candle out herself.

We ate our cupcakes and enjoyed our conversation. We talked about our families and memories, shared some verses of Scripture that we had been studying in the past few days, and talked about several other heartwarming topics.

I may not long remember any specific words that were said, but I will never forget the time. I will never forget the look on her face as we sang “Happy Birthday” to each other and the child-like joy of a 99-year-old lady blowing out her candle as if for a first time.

I think one of the reasons Jesus was such a party person is because he was such a people person.

We see and experience the heart of God when we experience one another.

In fact, nearly 100 times, the Bible tells us to be with one another: Love one another; exhort one another; encourage one another; pray for one another; support one another.

In essence, when Jesus entered into our world, that is what he did — he demonstrates God, one to another.

Special events give us the opportunity to do what we should be doing all along — to be with one another.

I encourage you to look around and take advantage of the “one-another opportunities” you are given each day. Take time be with another, to share a meal, a smile, a cup of tea, a concern, even a tear is better when it is shared with one another. Each Sunday, I begin our service by reminding the congregation that when God gives us Himself, He gives us one another.

The Rev. Albert Gillin is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church. Contact him at 509-525-1093 or by email at gillin@wwpcusa.org. Pastors in the U-B circulation area who want to write a column should contact Catherine Hicks at 509-526-8312, or by e-mail at catherinehicks@wwub.com.

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