This year it's
Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.
Isaiah 12:6Let's face it, life is hard. It is full of challenges at every turn. People, places and circumstances can cause us to be bitter and spiteful, and justifiably so. I know myriads of people, in the church and out, who are on anti-depressants just to get by- and I don't blame them. If I wasn't such a stoic, hard headed German with a bizarre physiology I'd be downing them like candy myself. Life is depressing.
But in the midst of this world, this world whose ruler has designs on the people of Zion that include, but are not limited to death, thievery and destruction, God calls us to have JOY.
I'm not a natural at Joy. I'm a natural at melancholy, cynicism and bitter disbelief. I hate to admit it, but there it is.
But I found something this fall that I'd lost a couple of years ago- the ability to laugh. And, Oy vey, it was a good thing. Like, I had cracked the dusty, bitter shell of hurt and anger and betrayal that had threatened to define me. And then I laughed some more. And then I started seeking out opportunities to laugh- you know, like how I used to. Finding jokes, telling jokes, You Tubing Christian comedians, pranking my kids, telling funny stories. We started laughing as a family again- really laughing. Not the kind of laughing you do right before you cry, but mirthful laughing. What JOY to watch the faces of the people I love full of the LIGHT of laughter. We've laughed and discovered that contented feeling of joy within. And every now and then we've been at a place of true joy, and laughter has bubbled forth.
For Christmas this year, Dr Dh and I did something extravagant and purchased an arcade sized air-hockey table. It ranks as one of the best presents ever. We have already spent hours around it laughing and cheering and finding JOY in the simple pleasure of a goofy arcade game. Yea, it's just a goofy thing, but it's fun and it's laughter inducing and those simple prompts of laughter and fun have reminded us, reminded me, of what a great place joy can be.
Joy- the deep abiding assurance and rest that God is for us, that the world and it's dark portents can never harm us, that God makes all things new. Yes, please.
What is your Word for the 2015?
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