I do not believe in dour Christianity. Following Jesus surely means we are to surrender all we possess to the God who reigns Almighty. However, we’re dealing here with the one who, as St. Paul says, became poor so we might be made rich. The eternal tale of pauper to prince.
I do believe in a faith of raucous joy. I believe in the God who instructed Israel to an annual tithe solely for the purpose of funding a flamboyant party. I believe in a God who invites us, each week, to a feast of wine and bread. I believe in a God who laughs and who, every now and then, pokes us until we can no longer stay grim but instead succumb to the Holy Jester and let loose a ripping guffaw.
God is not sparse or frugal. God lavishes abundance. While we are right to resist rampant consumerism, let us not make the tragic mistake of replacing it with the faith of miserly prudes. While we are right to join the poor, let us always arrive singing of how our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, which in our day must at least include a few city blocks housing fine restaurants that know how to lay a dandy spread and how to rearrange the tables so dancing and music can pour into the night.
Whatever our take on matters of economy and Christian discipline, let us never forget to laugh. And party.