1 Peter 1:3-12
Nestled in this scripture passage are lines aglow with tender trust and shining gladness: Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy (v. 8).
The people who initially received these words, unlike earlier Jesus-followers, had never seen him, heard his voice, or felt his touch. Even so, like us, they chose to trust him. They heard the stories about him, and they learned about his teachings. They witnessed how his intangible but vivid presence brought love, hope, and peace to others who trusted him. What they discovered about Jesus made more sense out of the mess and mystery of being human than anything else they’d encountered. They became able to affirm that he was alive, though they had not seen him. He gave them significance and hope. Most of all, he brought them indescribable and glorious joy.
Teilhard de Chardin said, “Joy is the most infallible sign of the
presence of God.” Joy is a guide to the ways in which God is with us.
Sometimes, my awareness of God’s presence fades, and I lose track
of joy. When I do, obligation displaces delight, and duty obscures
opportunity. “Have to” squeezes-out “get to.”
In those moments, I need to remember that God wants joy for us.
In and through Jesus, God invites us to dance, to sing, and to laugh,
despite all that is wounded and wrong about the world and our own
lives. In and through Jesus, joy comes to us as courage in suffering,
mercy in brokenness, forgiveness in guilt, and love in fear.
Go where the joy is; there you will find Jesus and life as God
means it to be.
What interferes with your experience of God’s gift of joy?
Living and Loving Jesus, strengthen my trust in you, restore my joy, and renew my love. Amen.