Wednesday, December 18, 2013

For the Joy of it

Sunday was an awesome time of worship at our church as we met as one and let our hearts be stirred by the children.

We no longer have wee ones except of the grand kind.  But when the children sing there is always something, someone to watch.

There is the one in the front row who bows after the first song.

Or he who begins to cry because worshiping a Big God who created the world is scary  and all these people are watching.

But my joy came, even as tears threatened to blur my vision, at the multitude of little ones singing.  Their voices joined together as one, or in harmony a little tentatively.  But there was a multitude.

You see our little church has been having some growing pains.  A good problem to have, right?

We began a building project to ease the tight fit.  But building projects seem to always cause some to move on to the already built churches.

And many have moved.  Some leavings seemed to rip my heart out at the thought that I may never see them again, life being what it is.

Some were easier as they moved on to do missions in new towns in new ways at new churches.  These also hurt to think about but they seemed to heal more quickly.

I had begun to think that somehow our church had a hole that was oozing the blood of its members.  A hole I could not see nor knew how to fix.  Except through prayer.  For prayer eases all the pains, fixes the hurts, restores the Body of Christ.

But just as I was wondering who else might be leaving, there they were!  All those children!  Filling up our new larger stage.  Voices booming out to fill the rafters in sweet song!

The Advent candle for this 3rd week is JOY.  We sing of it, "Joy. Joy. Joy."  God's JOY is not that happy feeling of giddiness, but a contentedness that all is right with life, even when life is upside down.  The Gospel is JOY, God's JOY.

Ann Voskamp said on her vlog that the opposite of joy is not pessimism, but unbelief.  JOY, God's JOY, is the Gospel.

Maybe these 2 points don't come together in your mind.  For some reason they do in mine.  Just as I was uncertain of the ripple coming out of my church, hope was restores.  And with hope comes JOY, God's JOY.  And I can exhale in praise.

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