“There it is! You have let me experience the joys of life and the exquisite pleasures of true joy!” (Psalm 16:11 – paraphrased) Recently, a group of kids were asked: How would you define JOY?
They responded: “When you are feeling happy.” I was really caught by this answer. It reminded me of a time when my son told me that he wanted to be happy and that as his dad that would be my desire for him (he wanted something that he knew would bring his happiness and joy). I told him that his happiness was not my ultimate goal for him. I told him that if happiness was his goal then I failed as a father. I apologized for mistakenly giving him that belief. “Well, I thought you would want me to be happy?” he shot back. “No” I said. “Happiness is the last goal I have for you in your life.” “But you’re my father!” he said and I replied: “Happiness is just a feeling.
It can come and go on a whim. It can substitute for some real virtue or value in your life and go away in a second. It’s always eluding us. And as soon as we get it, the bar moves and we are off trying to find it again. What I want for you is JOY. Real JOY!” “What’s the difference?” he asked… and that started the quest for understanding and attaining real JOY.
This Advent (the four weeks leading up to Christmas), I want to rediscover with you Real Joy! Joy that is practical. Joy that does not remain just out of reach or rises and falls with our emotions in the moment. Jesus was all concerned about JOY. He talked a lot about it. Real JOY.
Let’s face it, the pursuit of joy becomes real at Christmas. The more we spend, the more JOY we offer to prove our love. Did you like what I got you? Are you feeling happy? We sing Joy to the World, but never really find it. That is because JOY is so simple and so easy…we just need to let it capture us!
Check this out! JOY – real Joy – does not come and go like family that needs to be off on Christmas to another house to keep everyone happy on Christmas morning. Joy captures us and helps us find “exquisite pleasure” like the Psalmist says.
Here is what we are offering each Sunday (10:45 AM) in December beginning on December 1:
JOY: REDISCOVERING THE JOY OF CHRISTMAS
At the first Christmas, angels proclaimed good news of great JOY for all people. In this series, we re-tell the Christmas story and rediscover for ourselves the JOY that Christ’s birth brings.
Can you use some genuine joy in your life?
- A joy which can’t be quenched?
- A peace that can’t be taken?
- A happiness which can’t be threatened?
There is such a joy. It is a sacred delight, a holy gladness. It comes from God and is within your reach – Joy that is more than willing to embrace you! Real Joy. Practical Joy. Join us as we put
Real Joy to the test this Christmastime and get found! Invite someone to join you. We can get this right. It’s not “hide-and-go-seek.” JOY says:
Here I am! I’ve been looking for you. Get found by JOY this Christmastime.