Today I’m floored by the preposterousness of God, in daring to invite us into enjoyment, celebration and joy.
We are studying Jennie Allen’s book Proven, which, through delving into the gospel of John, is basically aiming straight for the heart with the intention of undoing all the things that hold us together but just aren’t Jesus. The entire past week we spent dwelling on the Wedding at Cana, found in John chapter 2.
And this is all I will say at the moment: the ministry of Jesus begins with a wedding feast and ends with a wedding feast. It starts in Cana and ends in Zion. In other words, it kicks off with a huge party full of feasting and wine, and, according to Revelation, ends up the same exact way.
All the other stuff is crammed in the middle – all the healing of souls and bodies and spirits and minds, all the ushering in of a new covenant and giving his life to fulfill the old, all the missional purposes of God throughout the generations of the church era, all the work. But Jesus’ mission doesn’t begin first with the laborious work – it begins with what seems to matter to God most. Celebration. Fellowship. Relationship. Joy. He starts off there as if saying, “here’s what I’m all about, this is what matters to me: joy and relationship. This is the ‘why’ behind everything else I do. This is where I’m beginning, and this is where I want us all to end.” He foreshadows the outcome of his life. He offers a peak at the core of his goal.
Jesus shows us his heart, and then gets his hands in the dirt. And even the dirt from there on out is infused with his delightfulness and joy.
It has taken forever to even begin to realize this characteristic of God is a thing – joy and delight in all his relationships – and it’s even more mind blowing to me to realize that this joy and delight not just a minor trait of his personality, but the entire heart beat and force of his nature. Abundant life, Jesus says. He offers us abundant life. Abundant life. I still can’t wrap my mind around it but I’m tasting it on the tip of my tongue, and I’m in awe.