Friday, September 25, 2009

The Joy of Life

This past Sunday, the message at our church included an interesting thought about life.

Jesus understood the need for joy in our lives. And for the things which bring us joy.

I ran across this anonymous quote about joy:

The great teachings unanimously emphasize that all the peace, wisdom, and joy in the universe are already within us; we don't have to gain, develop, or attain them. We're like a child standing in a beautiful park with his eyes shut tight. We don't need to imagine trees, flowers, deer, birds, and sky; we merely need to open our eyes and realize what is already here, who we really are -- as soon as we quit pretending we're small or unholy.

I distill this all down--joy is our own responsibility. It is the way we individually live and view life and what is around us. Do we see life as a blessing or a curse?

Jesus had a way of taking situations and transforming them. At a wedding he once attended, He saved the reception by providing wine and also helping to ensure the joy of those attending.

Now on the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine left.” Jesus replied, “Woman, why are you saying this to me? My time has not yet come.” His mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.” Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washing, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the water jars with water.” So they filled them up to the very top. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the head steward,” and they did. When the head steward tasted the water that had been turned to wine, not knowing where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), he called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the cheaper wine when the guests are drunk. You have kept the good wine until now!” Jesus did this as the first of his miraculous signs, in Cana of Galilee. In this way he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him. John 2:1-11 - NET Bible

While we are each responsible for our joy and our view of the world--sometimes in dire circumstances when we notice that someone outside of the circumstance cares--it does help to reaffirm the joy which is resident within us. Here at a wedding--Jesus did just that for the party afterwards. And no, this wasn't grape juice either--people do not get drunk on grape juice. Jesus was contributing to the celebration and merriment. He was an instrument of joy by protecting the bridegroom from ridicule.

Jesus wants us happy and joyful.

We each need to work to find the joy in life. Chris will tell you that sometimes I have a problem with joy. I am so caught up in what I want to do next or what I think I should be doing that I forget to find joy in what I am doing.

Be joyful! In all things find the joy.

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