Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances.
—1 Thessalonians 5.16-18
Seriously? Even with all the crud in the world?
Yes. In the rock-paper-scissors of life
joy cuts sorrow, crushes despair and swallows crud.
Grieve first… and joy comes with the morning.
These are hard days. But joy is bigger than these days.
Joy is not happiness with present circumstances,
but harmony with the goodness of God
and the overflowing of God’s delight in us.
Joy includes the universe,
and all its beauty and sorrow.
Joy dances with gratitude.
Joy plays with hope, which is trust in the unseen.
Joy sings with love, which is self-giving for another,
who is the self—a return to wholeness. What joy!
Yes, people are suffering, and others don’t care.
But some do. Rejoice!
You can rejoice during a pandemic.
You can give thanks at a funeral.
You can be joyful in prison.
You can lament suffering and injustice, and rejoice.
For joy is the healing of broken hearts,
the breaking of chains, the opening of graves,
the coming of God.
Christ does not come to make us happy,
but to stand with us in the pain of life
until joy like a seed rises.
All is swallowed up in joy.
though in our smallness
we think of storms as menacing.
Skies will dance, winds sing,
and the seas play and clap their hands
with the joyful energy of the universe.
December 10, 2020