The Ultimate Party

And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
— Revelation 21: 22-27

I heard a story on The Moth last weekend about a man caring for his terminally ill mother. He moved home to take care of her in those last days, loving the opportunity for that intimacy with her. One night they were sharing secrets; his were mostly about boyhood antics. But one of hers broke his heart: when she got married, her roommate/maid-of-honor wanted to throw her a bridal shower. The bride was different and never quite fit in with her peers and was afraid no one would want to come to her party, but in her excitement over the wedding, she let her friend talk her into it. On the day of the shower, she and her roommate and her mother sat in her apartment all afternoon; no one else came to her party. What she feared had come true—no one wanted to come to her party. No one wanted to celebrate her. No one cared about her.

Her son couldn’t shake this horrible story, so he came up with an idea: to throw the ultimate party for his mama. They planned to the smallest detail and spent thousands of dollars. Then 5 days before the party, the mama ended up in the hospital; they were afraid her time had come. She insisted that even if she died, the party should still go on. But she didn’t die—she was able to attend, weak and fighting for life. Her son escorted her in her wheelchair into the ballroom of the hotel as the party started, and she was announced to the guests. The guests clapped and clapped and then stood up. The vibe was one of joy and celebration, not morbid sadness. And everyone who had promised to come was there. This fragile mama was loved and liked and celebrated well. She died 8 days later, holding her loving son’s hand.

When I listened to this story, I was sitting in my car. I was supposed to be running an errand, but I couldn’t turn off the radio. I had to hear how the story ended. People walking by looked at me strangely as I wiped the tears streaming down my face.

The picture portrayed was beautiful, but it pales in comparison to the party in Heaven. We’ve often talked about Kara having parties in Heaven. She is such an extrovert, and surely she is enjoying everyone there. My mind drifted to what it would be like to be at a party in Heaven where the guest of honor is always Jesus. In His presence we find safety and unconditional love. There is no condemnation, only grace and joy. And when we finally see Him face to face, He will surely look at us with such tenderness and celebration that we will be overwhelmed with gratitude.

I am glad the mama on The Moth was celebrated and loved. But I am even more glad that we can look forward to the ultimate party with Jesus in which we will all experience the transformative of His unconditional, delighted love in person. What will He say to us? What will He say to me? What has He said to Kara? What intimate conversations have they had? What laughter have they shared?

What do you imagine when you think of talking to Jesus face to face? Do you honestly believe He will be thrilled to see you? Can you imagine having an intimate, joyful conversation with Him? What is standing in your way from believing that He loves you, that you are the apple of His eye?