Jesus was able to teach all day, but still managed to fit in some parties where they mistook him for a drunkard and a sinner. He was neither, but appearances can be deceiving. As we think about the Incarnation, we sometimes forget that Jesus blended in with people; so much so that onlookers could not always differentiate him from the people he associated with.

Was he laughing hysterically and dancing feverishly? Was he too emotional and intimate for some observers? Could Jesus be mistaken for someone who had too much to drink? Could it be that joyous celebration from a pure heart is actually intoxicating?

Could it be that we have mostly forgotten what celebration looks and feels like?

The carefree spirit of joyous festivity is absent in contemporary society. Apathy, even melancholy, dominates the times. Harvey Cox says that modern man has been pressed “so hard toward useful work and rational calculation he has all but forgotten the joy of ecstatic celebration....” [1]

Ecstatic celebration… it’s easy to mistake it for an artificially produced party atmosphere. Why does Club Culture seem to depend on having alcohol and designer drugs like Ecstasy, sexy moves and colourful laser shows? Often dance culture is about creating an artificial experience; a place of releasing inhibitions publicly but seldom seeing into someone’s soul. Where is the true sense of oneness?

When in celebration are we endeared to one another in authentic ways? Joy is a fruit of the spirit. God’s presence in our lives produces a celebratory joyfulness that is hard to miss. In the often, serious business of spiritual formation, we need joy. Richard Foster said,

Often I am inclined to think that joy is the motor, the thing that keeps everything else going. Without joyous celebration to infuse the other Disciplines, we will sooner or later abandon them. Joy produces energy. Joy makes us strong. [2]

Jesus was the man of sorrows, but also filled with joy. When was the last time that you could have been mistaken for Jesus the drunk, simply because you were filled with joy in front of the wrong crowd?

[1] Richard Foster, Celebration Of Discipline, p.191
[2] Richard Foster, Celebration Of Discipline, p.191