Last week, during a teaching session with my church’s Worship Community, I had what seemed like most random thought: “He [God] starts the conga line.” It so caught me off guard that I nearly laughed out loud. As the speaker was sharing about how God rejoices over us and celebrates us, that thought just popped into my head. Once I recovered from the giggles over the mental picture of God doing a conga line, I started to process the thought. Scripture says that all of heaven rejoices over us when one of us who are lost become “found”, choosing to trust in Jesus as our Savior (Luke 15:7, NASB). I felt the Lord whispering to my heart that while all of heaven rejoices, He is the first to begin the celebration. He “starts the conga line”, so to speak. Such is the delight that He takes in us, that when one child joins the family, he rejoices wholeheartedly. As the father spoke in the parable of the lost son, ” [L]et us . . . celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ (Luke 15:24b-25, NASB).
After the teaching, during our writing session (where we listen and write as the Lord inspires), I could hardly write fast enough as the words began to flow. This is what I heard:
I Start the Conga Line
“When one lost child comes back to my embrace, I am the first to rejoice, to shout my joy from the rooftops, so that all may hear.
When you dip your first little toe in the water, moving beyond the place of your fear, I start the conga line, for you are unknowingly stepping right into my realm, where “impossible” becomes limitless possibility.
When you allow you heart to dream, to hope, to be laid bare and completely open before me, I shout a joyful shout of victory, for in this moment, you reflect me more than you ever thought you could.
I start the conga line. I don’t hold back in my loud, boisterous delight and pleasure in you. I am not cautious or careful in my love for you. I give everything. I am fully present with you in the moment. Join me.”
Papa God delights in us. He celebrates with us, even in our small victories. The Word declares, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult [feel or express joy of triumph, delight, rejoice] over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17, ESV, definitions in brackets mine).
I felt the Father extend an invitation for me to join him in the celebration. All too often, I miss the moment entirely because I allow other things to steal my focus. But just as Papa celebrates us, I too am meant to celebrate Him, other people around me, and myself. So this week, I am joining the celebration of heaven! Want to join me?
As my pastor, Evan Cockerham, said recently, “Be the party of God’s goodness and invite others to party with you.”