“We were filled with laughter, and we sang for joy. And the other nations said, ‘What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”Psalms 126:3
The Bible speaks of joy, laughter and love in hundreds of places. Jesus said that He came so that we could live life and live it abundantly. The older I get, I realize that joy is really quite uncomplicated; it can be a feeling, yes – but I have found that true joy comes not from a feeling but from a fact – which is the truth of God’s love and saving grace in our lives. When we use our lives to serve others, and in the process, serve Him – well then that is the joy that comes though living an abundant life.
My sister and brother-in-law have a family member who is a priest. He is a very gentle man with a good sense of humour who always brings a touch of interest to family gatherings. Recently, he and several of his brothers came to her house for an impromptu visit. They are Capuchin friars, which is a Franciscan order – dedicated to serving their community at large. All of them are highly educated and equally committed to sharing the Love and Joy of Jesus Christ through ACTIONS and WORDS. In fact they have given their lives and lifestyles to do just that.
Though I know not everyone is called to be a friar; I just love that these men have chosen to use their lives as a mission for others. Though it flies against the narcissistic “it is all about me” relativistic mentality of the 21st century – they are able to find joy – true joy, in their choices.
I love this picture of them playing on the trampoline in my sister’s backyard, a reflection of the child-like pleasure one gets of just living life the way Jesus asks each of us to consider. I just want to jump in there with them….wonder how they manage a front flip with those robes? 🙂
The Message (MSG)
Whoever Becomes Simple Again
At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?”
For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.
Psalm 9:2 “I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.”
Psalm 33:21 “In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.”
Proverbs 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart; good news makes for good health.