He has brought me to the house of wine (banqueting house or hall);
his banner raised over me is love.
-Song of Solomon 2:4
“An evening party or gathering, typically in a private house, for conversation or music.”
Celebrations, Parties, and Feasts
The Jewish culture is filled with celebrations that are like family reunions or mega block parties and there are ten of these every year, called the feasts. Yes, God invented feasting.
If God instituted these feasts, it tells you something about what is good for God’s people. When we party, we have enjoyment before God and with people. It is that simple.
A soiree is in the evening (soir means evening), is typically at a private house, and it is for conversation or music. Why the party (soiree)? For conversation. Why the conversation? So people get to know each other? Why? We need people. We all need to belong. No one is an island, even if they act like it.
The Kingdom of God, as one author put it, is a party.
By the way, if most of this seems like, “duh”, common sense; I am writing this for myself and the minority of people who don’t get it. If you have recently become a Christian, you probably know the feeling of celebration. I personally, was raised in a Christian family, but chose to go my own way after high school and was a rebel and a prodigal son. Through God’s amazing love, I was brought back to walking with Father, no-holds-barred. Having gone away and come back, my life was a jaw-dropping celebration in God’s love. My life was a celebration and conversation.
Why do Christians gather in the greater gatherings? To celebrate! Many folks might think we gather to be taught, or to take holy communion (The Lord’s Supper, The Eucharist). These are good things that are important.
But when you see Jesus, when you get saved, when you receive the love of God; what is the one thing you want to do more than anything else? CELEBRATE!
Think about it, in the parable of the two sons, sometimes called the parable of the prodigal son; when the prodigal son returned, what did his father do? He threw a huge party! He did not get out his scrolls and have a Bible study. He did not gather everyone and give them a sermon.
Living Epistles Need To Testify
Do you understand that our lives are sermons, test-i-monies? When did you last hear someone give their testimony. Wasn’t it wonderful? We are living epistles. We are witnesses who testify. Members of the body, telling of the wonders of God in their lives; that is the authentic Church. That is what is supposed to happen when the church gathers. The body of Christ comes alive and all the parts take part. That’s church, that’s ecclesia.
The church should have soiree’s regularly.
Again, a soiree is an evening party or gathering, typically in a private house, for conversation or music.
Evening means it is the last activity of your day, before bedtime. You are not pre-occupied with the next task after this gathering like lunch, shopping, or chores. Evening also implies dressing up a bit: an evening gown, or evening attire. These are not mandatory, but enjoyable. There is something also different that is enjoyable about evening time. Moonlight, candlelight, or festive lights outdoors.
Party means celebration. What are you celebrating? As I said earlier, God created celebration and parties. Like everything, the world has corrupted what is good. Christ comes into our lives a renews us. God’s people should be the ones who really know how to party, how to laugh, how to love, and how to be hospitable.
Soiree’s are gatherings that are typically in homes. We Christians have gatherings, like teas, pot-lucks, harvest celebration parties, and picnics; in or around our church buildings; and that is good. But soiree’s are in homes, usually.
Why in homes and what difference does that make? When we have people into our homes, we are showing hospitality. Some people think that hospitality is a spiritual gift that only a select few Christians have, but that is not true. All Christians are commanded to be hospitable (Romans 12:13, 1 Peter 4:9). It is also interesting that being hospitable (opening your home) is placed before being able to teach, as a qualification for elders (1 Timothy 3:2).
Hospitality also involves food. Eating is in the Bible, from cover to cover. Food facilitates fellowship.
Soiree’s are for conversation. We need to converse. We each need to know each other and be known by each other. God designed us like this. The case could be made that the Christian life is done together. We have many conversations where belonging is nurtured and growing occurs. Learning occurs mainly in conversations.
We gather or party to have conversation or for music. Two things we do with music at a party or gathering are to listen to music and enjoy it, or we dance to music together and enjoy it.
Expression through Music
Music is a universal form of expression. Christians, who are indwelt by God, are the most creative people on the planet. Expression of worship, praise, lament, and poetic observation come through music. Music at your soiree may be a small combo, a singer with one instrument, a harpist. a flute, or percussive instruments; just to name some examples. People may read poetry also and display art.
How are you doing with joy? How are you doing with expressing your joy through music and dance? Did you know that you can worship the Lord through dancing? If you wear a robe or a suit, you may have to take off that robe or that suit jacket, if you are a man.
Church like a Soiree
Take back the night. Take back celebration, parties, and gatherings called Soiree’s. What if life in heaven was closer to a soiree, as I have described it, than your average church service? Remember when Jesus said to pray, “on earth as it is in heaven”? Did you know that they celebrate in heaven when one of us down here repents (Luke 15:7)?
What if the blueprint for how to do church is already written in the NT and it boils down to gathering together for conversation and music, with food, at someones house? We have communion together. We listen to one another’s artistry in music and we might enter in to worship of the King, in a natural way, like breathing heaven’s air.
A new believer may get baptized as well and publicly acknowledge their new found faith in Christ. Do you believe in natural, home births? I’m glad we have hospitals and doctors, for when it is the exceptional, difficult birth. Some people make new-birth very difficult, when the actual hard part was accomplished by Jesus.
I already mentioned that we may worship together to simple melodies shared by musicians or poets at the soiree gathering. In our conversations, needs for prayer may come up, and right there, we will pray for one another, in a natural way.
It’s that simple.