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(By Lisa Peat)

The happy family meal reflects the joy of celebrating together.
Photo Credit: Yuganov Konstantin

(By Lisa Peat)

This month, as we focus on our Saviour’s birth, we will enjoy celebrating with friends and family over delicious meals.  

In Bible times, sharing a meal indicated friendship, so when Jesus ate with sinners, He was saying He was their friend.

In Luke 15, the Pharisees were upset with Jesus because He welcomed sinners and ate with them. He dined with sinners and outcasts, disciples, and the religious Pharisees. And in eating with them He was saying that He was not concerned with social status or cultural norms, but wanted to have a relationship with them. 

I love seeing the heart of God in the 3 parables Jesus taught in Luke 15.

In the first parable, the shepherd left 99 sheep to search for the one that was lost. When he found the lost sheep he didn’t scold it unkindly, but placed it on his shoulders and then called everyone to rejoice with him because he had found his lost sheep. 

Jesus then said in verse 7:

“I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

God rejoices when a sinner repents.

The second parable was about a woman’s lost coin. She didn’t give up searching for it, but swept the house clean until she found it. Then, she called her friends and neighbors and said “Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.”

Jesus told them “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

The last parable was of the prodigal son. The son asked his father for his inheritance and then wasted it on wild living. When he found himself destitute, feeding the pigs, he came to his senses and went home with the intent of asking his father if he could be a servant. Before he even got home, his father, who had been patiently watching and waiting for him to return, saw him coming up the road. When he saw his boy he hoisted up his garments and began to run, something that no respectable Jewish man would ever think of doing. 

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, 'Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”

These parables show the heart of God and His desire to reconcile sinners to Himself and rejoice over them.  

Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that God rejoices over His children:

“For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

This was written to Jews and also to all Gentiles who have placed their faith in Christ and have become heirs to the promise made to Abraham. 

We can enjoy celebrations and meals here on earth, and one day, each believer will be called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. 

What a celebration that will be! 

We can rejoice in the fact that our God loves us and rejoices over us and we will enjoy the presence of our Savior, our Bridegroom, forever. 


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