October 3, 2011

John 15:11- “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. (The Message Bible)

Ok- so I stayed up to the bitter end last night waiting for the Phillies to pull it out. Now I’m tired and cranky and the fact that Saturday night was a big win and a lot of fun doesn’t count for much. We live in a world that is addicted to drama whether it is in sports or relationships or news. We want to be shocked or at least titillated by something new and exciting. But is that joy? Jesus said the above to his followers just before they were going to experience the drama of his arrest, trial, execution and resurrection. He seems to be pointing them beyond the individual events to an underlying bedrock. I think joy is connecting with the goodness of God on a deep and abiding level. Certainly everyone’s life has ups and downs. Jesus seems to say that that beyond or beneath these ups and downs is the grace and mercy of God that is good to the extent of joyful. It is the slow but hot burn of the big log as opposed to the quick, bright burn of the twigs and dried leaves. We can be so obsessed with chasing the rush of the next big thing that we miss opening ourselves to the more enduring “wholly mature” joy of love and peace offered in faith. I still hope the Phillies win. I’ll probably watch if the games don’t go too late into the night. But I’ll look for my joy somewhere else. Where do you look for your joy? Don

Yesterday in my sermon I referenced a BBC podcast about Christianity in China. Here is the link. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b014fblw

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