So here at Ecclesia, we do parties very well. We’d actually say we have the spiritual gift of partying. And my wife and I particularly have the spiritual gifts of throwing parties.
Now a lot of religious people don’t know how to respond to this…. and I get it. We’ve been pitched by the culture we live in that “partying” is primarily drinking heavily, acting stupid, grinding on each other, and eventually loose interactions of a sexual nature… all to be remembered the next day with advil and sunglasses (thanks Kanye). This is not the whole picture.
Celebration/parties… these are ways that we experience community together. These are the avenues to joy, fellowship, celebration…. and we know in this life that there are plenty of hard mournful things that we need to go through… so along with that, we also need times of celebration. I mean we use Jesus as our model. When the wedding was seemingly going to die, He kept it going….
So we decided to throw a dance party around Halloween. We called it the Lazarus Ball:
We thought it would be fun to do a Halloween dance for Elder, a sort of “dead prom” or “zombie prom”… but we really aren’t into participating in the celebration of gore and death that goes on during this time of year. But the more we discussed, the more we realized that this popular narrative of being dead and coming to life is actually a main story line of the Christian story. We were once “dead” and we have been made alive. Sin kept us from Life, and we have now been “resurrected” through Jesus Christ into the eternal life of the Almighty. Not only are these concepts we believe in, but Jesus showed us a literal resurrection when He brought His friend Lazarus back from the dead. Through Jesus, we will all be resurrected from death… into Life. Hallelujah.
So we are going to celebrate this. We will come together and celebrate this truth…. in a bit of a theatrical way, yes… but it will be really fun. So come to the prom “dead”. Not gory, bloodied, and visually disgusting. Let’s have a little taste.
But come with a little makeup, a little tattered, and little deceased…. and as we celebrate, we will be resurrected:
-resurrected when we come into community from aloneness.
-resurrected when we celebrate the power of Jesus over death.
-resurrected when we laugh and celebrate in a world of so much pain and brokeness.
-resurrected as we raise money to restore a hollow building into a place of community and light.
-resurrected when we move the bodies God gave us! (aka shake what yo momma gave you.)
So there you go.
Below are some pics from our friends at Smilebooth that let us use their photobooth for the party. We danced a lot and when all is said and done we raised around $1000 for the building fund. And we got to boogie.