Last night at LOGOS was a wonderful evening. One that strengthened the joy of knowing we are beloved of God. It is all too easy, especially during this time of year, to fill our lives with so many things to do that we lose sight of the joy of life. Last night we experienced 5, 6 & 7 year olds acting out the Christmas story (complete with rambunctious sheep!), and children in elementary and middle school singing about the world of love we are building with our hearts connected to God and each other. And I experienced again the love from God that flows from each of us, undergirding the moments of our days and reminding us that life in Christ is joy.
I have come to understand through my faith journey that joy and pleasure are very different things. Joy comes from within, from our connection to God. As Christians, joy comes from knowing, no matter what is happening around us or to us, we are held and beloved by God. It is that quiet hopefulness that reminds us, even on our darkest days, that we do not walk alone. Pleasure and happiness are feelings that come from things in our lives – a good movie, a new car, doing a job well.
Experiences that help connect us to the Holy are what renew our joy – a beautiful sunset, the hush of new fallen snow, prayer, worship. My joy, my connectedness to God is always renewed and strengthened when I am present with children. Children – the delight they share in simple pleasures, the freedom they know in simply being themselves, the energy they bring to whatever they do. They remind me of who I am created to be, remind me of Who I belong to, remind me of my connection to you, remind me that you and I are God’s beloved.
Life is not always pleasure and happiness. Sometimes life is pain and heartache. Yet, even then, when I touch the love of God, I know my life is joy.
* If you need a reminder of joy in your life, join us for worship this week where our children will share the Christmas story. Come experience the touch of God in the face and the actions of our youngest ones. Come and remember your joy as a beloved child of God.