Who doesn’t like a party? Oh, I know there are some of you who would prefer to stay away from groups (I’m an introvert, so I get it). But even the near hermits among us get something out of a gathering of “our people” for fun, relaxation, food and maybe even games. Let’s add another dimension though. Suppose someone we know is under a tremendous burden, life is handing them lemons…day, after day, after day. Now suppose one of our friends makes the suggestion of throwing a party for that person just to ease the burden, give them a rest from thinking about all those things, and to make them feel appreciated. Even you hermits would be more likely to engage in that, wouldn’t you? We can really push through our own wants when someone else is in need! “What’s this all about”, you ask? I’m so glad you want to know! This Saturday, we’re hosting a Neighborhood Appreciation Party here at Gaylord Family Fellowship from noon until 4:00 pm. Why are we doing this? First, because we’re located in a neighborhood and we should be neighborly. If you’ve ever lived in a subdivision with a heavy dose of division, you know how difficult it can become. Our neighbors aren’t like that and we want to show our appreciation to them for it. But there’s another reason. We know from the Word of God (and our own experience), that true joy only comes from Jesus. John , the follower of Jesus, recorded Him speaking about this subject: “ I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” John 15:11 (NLT) Overflowing Joy! We want those who live around the church to find it, so we are throwing a party to show it! So what’s your role in all this? Again, thanks for asking! If you carry the joy of Jesus, you are called to share it. The New Testament book of Matthew expresses our Savior’s teaching on this subject in this way: “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (The Message). Boom! Nothing I could say to try and convince you to be here can carry anywhere near the power of these words of Jesus. Do yourself a favor…read this passage over and over and let it sink in. If you call GFF your church home, you are a neighbor to our neighbors. Oh, one more thing. Your joy will get a boost when you share it with people who haven’t found theirs. Show up at 9 am to help us set up, stay after 4 to help clean up, or just drop by and spend some time, “ bringing out the God-colors” to people living in a dull gray world.