Devotional Thought of the Day:
4 May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice! Philippians 4:4 (TEV)
61 “Happy?” The question made me think. Words have not yet been invented to express all that we feel in the heart and in the will – when we know ourselves to be children of God!. (1)
I just entered a chapter in Furrow that is all about happiness, or perhaps, more accurately in English – joy.
I don’t feel all that full of joy today. I have a bear of a sermon to write ( on the plan of God revealed in “Do not Commit Adultery.” to my older congregation. I am dealing with some anxiety because of what I know some friends are enduring things I cannot imagine. I am tired and sore and the idea of putting on a fake smile and saying, “It is well”. I would feel like a hypocrite. a liar, and in this season of Lent, not quite right. I am supposed to be, and in many ways I am lamenting this broken world in which we walk. THere are days when what resonates with me is not “Rejoice!” but the phrase from my teenage years, “Life a b&@*#” or as Siddhartha Buddha put it, “Life is suffering”
Even as I type, I know that tonight, as the beginning notes of the Kyrie are played, as the voices of our congregation sing God’s praises, as they proclaim His love, I will know joy. It will hear such joy in laughter, as they watch an middle age pastor try to preach about God’s masterpiece of life….within the scope of God’s words about….. SEX? I will know such joy as we communion, fellowship, as we share in Christ’s Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper. It will extend through-out the service, and as we eat together, sharing in each other’s lives.
But what about until then? How will I know that joy? How will I obey Paul’s command to “REJOICE?”
I need to hear it less as a command, more of an encouragement, a reminder,
St . Josemaria does a great job helping me see beyond what I have read (and heard ) for years. It is as we know ourselves as God’s children that we can find that joy. Even in lament, as we know, as we trust God, and know His promises of His presence, of His love, mercy and how He cares for us, It is that incredible love that gives us a sense that all will work it out.
No wonder ancient Jews would bind the word of God to their forehead and to their hands. TO constantly remind them of this. It’s why I usually wear a cross, either the one embroidered on my shirt, or one around my neck.
Paul says that to the church in Phillipi, in that passage ( I chose to use the TEV this morning – because it makes it more clear) Joy is found as we now we are in Christ. In that union. For God has attached us to Christ, to Him in His death, and in His resurrection. And even more, in the very presence of the Father. Again, from Paul,
1 You have been raised to life with Christ, so set your hearts on the things that are in heaven, where Christ sits on his throne at the right side of God. 2 Keep your minds fixed on things there, not on things here on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.Colossians 3:1-3 (TEV)
There it is, the words of life, that remind us of our greatest joy…..>
That we aren’t alone, that God is here… with us… and we are more than just walking through this life…
There is our joy, there is our hope, there are we…. with Him.
(1) Escrvia, Josemaria Furrow