Posts Tagged joy
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”
The Work of Rest
- Take off your shoes, get comfortable walking on holy ground… as opposed to keeping the floor clean.
- Take off your traveling shoes and stay awhile
- Take off your work shoes and rest
- Take off your athletic shoes and rest from striving to win.
Joy is Found in the Holy Places
- Camp Glisson
- Buckeye Creek
- Prayer Closet
- Altar Rail
- In Songs,
- Spiritual moments and memories
The 3rd Rule of Methodism
Practice your piety. not Pie-eating
The Question for tonight: What are you doing to seek the holy JOY of the Lord?
Don’t just tease God on Sunday morning, spend time dwelling all day, wherever you are.
Practice hunting for Joy: Not everyone finds because not everyone is searching.
Practice naming and claiming Joy: Pokemon Go model of not only seeking but capture for later use.
Practice offering Joy to one another in the face of our obstacles. Fear, Grief, Guilt, Apathy, Ignorance, Greed, Shame, etc.
Setting a new Millstone for Joy (Commitment time)
Where will I look for Joy: Sunday school, new small group or study, personal study, a journal
How will I stay connected to Joy: Will I stay in God’s word and songs? Will I start the conversations? Will I use the post its’
Where will I begin sharing Joy each day: It is a USE it or LOOSE it power. Keep it ready, keep it handy, keep it alive.
Joy is not forced upon us, but it ours through Jesus Christ who died and lives for us: Our greatest Joy.
Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. For while, we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. [NRSV]
Just Only John
As a child, one of the books my parents gave me was a juvenile work, a story about a little boy named John. The boy dreams of all the other things he might want to be, except for being himself. He choices to be someone other than himself left him alone, afraid, and uncertain anything but joyful when he had the choice to be himself again he chose to be Just only John, (the title the book.)
Our Look at Joy
This week I offer you a perspective on
- our Source of Joy,
- Obstacles of Joy and
- Yourself as a Joyful person
Ask your neighbor: Do you see Joy in me tonight?
🎼 I’ve got the Joy, Joy! Joy, Joy, down in my heart, where? Down in my heart. Where? Down in my heart, I’ve got the Joy, Joy! Joy, Joy, Down in my heart, to stay.
Lost Down in my Heart…
The truth is that we are not always joy-filled people. Sometimes we live without the power of Joy.
Just because we don’t find the Joy doesn’t mean it is not there, or here
The camp/ VBS song we sing is sometimes the truest picture that Joy is so deep down that we lose grasp of it
Joy comes in the morning
Psalm 30.5 For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning.For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning.[RSV]
Joy is something to seek to find, wait to receive, anticipate until it is enjoyed, AND shared until Christ returns.
Will the Real Joy Stand Up
Joy comes from God through Justification.
Justification is a good Methodist Work describing what Jesus has done for us through work of grace in the cross and power of the resurrection.
Jesus makes it right.. from the song/hymn, “Have a little talk with Jesus”
Eternal Joy is made By God, Through Jesus and shared by the Holy Spirit.
We might not use Justification as a theological term that often,
But we are fully away of how to justify our actions and in-actions in the world.
Problem with just only John
The problem of the lesson I learn about the childhood book I mentioned earlier is that most of the time I attempt to find joy, peace and meaning from my choices. my justifying thug d brings temporary joy
- I will be joyful when I finish school
- I will be joyful when I get a house
- I will be joyful when I get a job
- I will be joyful when I marry
- I will be joyful when I retire
- I will be joyful when I win the lottery
The implication is that I will not have joy until these come to pass, and if they don’t I don’t know where my joy comes from?
Finding the Joy.
We live in a stressful, frustrating world filled with division, fighting, and fear.
How we wish the people of ISIS would find the joy of Jesus Christ.
How we wish the people fighting over radical histories would find our joy
How we wish people in our own community would find joy even in poverty and uncertainty
How we wish we could find joy when we feel lost in grief and fear.
Sometimes we have to Swim further our and dive deeper
If joy is deep in my heart, I’ve got to go deep to get it
Jumping into the deep end of joy.
Where do we Go to find Joy?
Challenge you to find someone, in the next two days, who does not have a church home and ask them, “What would it take for you to come visit my church tomorrow night?”
- Would it take buying groceries or putting gas in their tank?
- Would you have to keep their kids or mow their lawn?
- Would it take driving them a doctor’s visit?
- You would do it for the least of these gathered here tonight, why not try it on someone else who needs a home? (Come Back to the challenge)
Jumping into our world view. How does to the world see us? Do we have the right clothes, car, hair style, jewelry, the right bumper stickers or yard signs
- If my joy is based on money and I don’t have money, then I have no joy
- If my joy is based on toys and I don’t have the latest toy, I have no joy
- If my joy is based on what others think or perceive from me, and they don’t like or approve of me, then I have no joy.
- What if my joy is founded in the one who loves me, I will always have joy
- What if my joy is grounded in the one who made me, I can always find joy
- What if my joy is rooting in the one who sees my brokenness and sin and still claims me as their own, Joy is always an option.
Tomorrow we will celebrate some JOY because you will bring the joy in the process of opening your hearts and share the search for Joy with others.
We will talk about the obstacles to JOY tomorrow.
Tonight we pray for those persons who need the JOY we know in Christ.
Tonight we pray for the JOY that will be revealed in the morning.
Tonight we celebrate that Jesus has planted JOY by Justification, but making right our broken hearts and lives.
Look at your neighbor: Tell them I want to see the JOY living in you.
Tell them: I’ve Got the JOY of Jesus Christ in my, let me tell all about it.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced. Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb. May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves. [NRSV]
This American Gospel hymn draws us to turn to and trust God to bring us to fruitfulness and to restore what was invested long ago. If you look at the Top 100 popular songs for this week in October, you find these 25 titles that speak of the message of our current culture:
Cant’ Feel my Face, Locked Away, Wildest Dreams, Hotline Bling, Hit the Quan, Ex’s and Oh’s, Same Old Love, Trap Queen, Renegades, My Way, Drag Me Down, Where Ya At, Strip it Down, Love Myself, Worth It, Earned It, Bad Blood, Break Up With Him, Anything Goes, Come Get Her, Nothing But Trouble, Stressed Out, Live From the Gutter, $ave Dat Money, Love Me.
Do these sound like words of joy and fulfillment? Now I’m picking on important genre of the population’s voice and expression. But it is always important to listen to, and to understand the words. The words have meaning and power.
The Pslamist is a song writer: The songs begins by reminded us that God has done GREAT things for us in the past.
The next words, remind us that sometimes all we have left at the moment is the dream of what was. The vital importance of keeping the dream alive.
A call to remember what brought us laughter, joy, comfort, peace and a time where fear, doubt, worry were not our driving realities.
Remember times that you were so happy you and your neighbor could be heard shouting for joy.. (back when the Dawgs could expect to taste sugar at the seasons end.)
Remember when all the other nations would look at our nation and say, God is at work through them in great ways… Not our reputation, but God’s reputation.
The Seasons of emptiness, depression, doubt and loss.
The Negeb water courses…There is a seasonal change, expect the drought, expect the flood, expect the in between conditions. God is present throughout all the seasons.
Exchange program, you bring me tears, I bring you joy. The Rag Man, the Christ
Tears of sadness from the joy. Joy is meaningless without the tears. God is fruitful in both times, all times. Turn toward God in sadness and bring God home in joy.
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” [NRSV]
What boy have ten baseball cards looses his 1915 Cracker Jack Honus Wagner card, does not search his house and bed room until he finds it and when it does find it her posts on Facebook to tell all his friends. And all his friends “Like” and comment how happy they are that he found it.
What dog breeder, who leaving ninety-nine dogs in the pen to go looking for the one who climbed under the fence and ran away. And when the breeder finds the pup, the breeder puts dog on his shoulder and carries it home with joy and celebration.
What girl having broken her grandmother’s string of pearls in her room would not sweep and vacuum up her carpet looking through the lint and trash until she finds every last one. And when she finds them all goes and tells the good news that what was lost has been found.
What stockbroker who lost their client one million dollars with a bad decision does not research and how to use the remaining 99 million to make back the one that that was lost. And when he does he is no longer afraid to call the client, but shares the good news that their account broken even that day.
What teacher, who leaving the classroom unsupervised to take the one troubled student to the school counselor comes back to the classroom and finds the students and classroom in order and on-task. That teacher rejoices and calls off the pop quiz and joy fills the class.
What politician, who leaving the 99 political party members that are in their back pocket, goes across the isles to do the right thing for the country even though the 99 are mad, threatening and hurt that he bailed on them. And all the people who elected the officials rejoiced that the people were represented over the politician’s party and popularity.
What man, having ten children, leaves at home and at work the nine who are faithful and responsible and goes into the far country to find the one that has run away. And when the father and child return that are all glad to be home together.
What mechanic, having taken apart the engine of a prized race car for cleaning and finds one custom forged bolt has been lost, does not dredge the oil pan and search the shop until he finds the part and completes the rebuild. Does he not rejoice with the others in the shop that he found the part?
What faithful church member, who having been concerned about the budget, the rules administrative council and the proper reverence of the sanctuary does not leave the guidelines behind when the needs of school children who are hunger or without warm coats; or forgets the limits of the budget and gives to send missionaries and mission teams around the world, and opens the doors of the church to show the lost that we care about them more than we care about our own. Who rejoices then?
It’s the same story through out. The parable continues to point us to see when Jesus rejoices… When the found are no longer lost and the lost are completely found.
12:13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” 14 But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” 15 And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” 16 Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
It is impossible to visit a community like the ones we visited this week in Tegucigalpa and not re-evaluate our understanding of poverty and wealth. Every person who comes to the end of the month and there is not enough to pay the bills and they go inside their home, turn on the television, make a few calls and eat some processed food stuffs in the microwave and think about how terrible their situation is should go vacation in Honduras.
For all those who would say, we have mission enough to do right here at home, the question to answer is who reaches out to those who have no wealthy neighbors. Who will bring peace and hope to city where corruption, violence and want rule?
The parable of Jesus found in Luke 12 draws our focus on what things are ours.
How many toys can a person own and enjoy them all?
How much stuff in our homes, cars, sheds, garages, basements, attics and storage building will bring us life, joy and happiness.
We have finally begun to go through boxes we moved into our garage over two years ago and found things while special and meaningful at one time, only took up valuable space, for two years. We made large load for the youth yard sale, a large load for the school yard sale, a large load for the timely garbage truck and still have more to sort and share.
But I drift from the point and focus of the parable just a bit.
Which is easy to do. That is, to fool ourselves into seeing what we think we need to be happy.
Norman was a young man our team met this week who enjoyed hard work with rocks with some rock music. He lived on the work site most of the week with two other workers and had fun even when he was hungry and tired.
Brian worked to transport and translate even when his heart was broken, having lost his mother, and nearly his young son to gang violence just two months ago, finds hope in caring for his son and teaching him to defend himself even as a two year old son.
What brings you joy when you don’t have anything to work on or play with? If you removed 90 percent of our things and balances of investments where would be find our happiness?
Back to the focus…
The focus gets off track when we put the investment of our heart in
What We Need
What We want
What I think
What I manage
What I planned
What I prepared
What about me?
When all along, our joy comes from asking and answering what God wants for me…
Our inheritance is what God wants to give us
And there is enough for us all.
Now all the tax-collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, ‘This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ 3 So he told them this parable: 4‘Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.” 7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance. 8 ‘Or what woman having ten silver coins,* if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? 9When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, “Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.” 10Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.’ -NRSV
There was a certain bank teller who had 100,000 in daily transactions. At the end of the day as the tallied her drawer she was short 10,000 dollars. So the went home and hoped it would show up tomorrow? Not.
There was a certain teacher who took 100 children on a field trip and one was left at the museum. The teacher called the parents and told them that their irresponsible first grader ran off and they would have to go retrieve the child themselves. Nope
There was a certain grand parent that had ten grand children coming over to their house for Christmas. The children were eager to share a delicious meal and to share Christmas gifts. When getting out the gifts there were only nine gifts, one grand child would just be disappointed this year.. (Grandpa said, so you think she’d like my denture cleaner?)
There was a certain baseball card collector who had all 523 of the American Tobacco Company’s Baseball card set, from 1909 to 1911, for an national interview on ESPN prior to the World Series. When live feed aired he opened the protective case and realized the Honus Wagner card was missing. He doubted that anyone would notice and continued with the interview undisturbed at the loss of the card that sold for $2.35 million. NO.
There was a person who was homeless got a third shift job watching cars at the dealership. The owner loaned him a car to drive to work . He could sleep all day and make $20 an hour watching that no one entered the lot during the night. If someone came on the premises they were to call the police and owner immediately. The very first night a gang show up and hot wired one of the cars and drove that Viper away. It was not the night watchman’s car; it was a rough and dangerous group. He tried calling the police and the owner but could not reach either. Should he leave the lot full of cars and the rest of the gang near by to race after the stolen car? Are you crazy?
There was a home owner who had two children. One stayed home to take car of the parents and all the affairs and business of the family and household. The other asked for their college fund during high school, dropped out of school, raced across the country and spent all the money in less than six months and was dumpster diving to find food.
Every day the parents would check emails, voicemails, mail box for a trail of bills and wonder what had happen to their youngest child. But knowing that they had the older child to care for them the rest of their days they gave up waiting and hoping and forgot the other child had ever been around… That’s not like Jesus parables..
The powerful part of Jesus’ parables are not in the story, but in the heart of the parable’s teaching.
The contexts of the parables are to address grumblings from the Pharisees and scribes. The teachers of the law, had joy in the traditions and they shared art of sticking in the mud. They were avoiders of a change and students of preservation and order.
Jesus went to the temple at age twelve and amazed the teachers as a child. As an adult his spending time with the unclean, non-religious folks was an insult in their eyes.
The message of Jesus is that everyone needs to hear the joy that God has a claim of love and grace, no matter what they have done or become.
The Pharisees and scribes held the responsibility of reaching the people. [The Pharisees were the more progressive group, as they allowed for the possibility of Resurrection after death, the Saddusees did not, that’s why they were Sad-you-see.
Just as the church, we hold the charge of teaching, sharing, witnessing and sharing the joy of Christ with everyone. This is our message. This is our mission. This is our work.
If you knew just one person who was sad and you could cheer them, would you reach out to them?
If you know just one person who was out of work would you help them look for work?
If you knew just one person who feels alone and scared of what waits from the test results could you hold their hand and heart while they wait.
If you knew just one person who had lost so much and you could love and befriend them even if they never got any of the stuff back because you cared about them and not their things, would you be their friend through the toughness.
IF you know just one person who was grieving and you could listen through their tears and grow with them in that valley of shadows, would you do it?
Hear the Good News! Jesus is interested in everyone, and sends his disciples to everyone.
Hear the Good News! God’s heart is joyful, God is laughing, God is beaming when do what Jesus did.
So what is God doing when we act like the Pharisees and scribes who were threaten by the example and call of Jesus? No so glad. Not laughing, not beaming so brightly..
SO WHAT. So what do we do with Jesus’ stories? Are they interesting children’s messages only?
Psalm 1:1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; 1:2 but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. 1:3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. 1:4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 1:5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 1:6 for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
John 17:6 “I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 17:7 Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; 17:8 for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. 17:9 I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. 17:10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 17:11 And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. 17:12 While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. 17:13 But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. 17:14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17:15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. 17:16 They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 17:18 As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 17:19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.
Water the garden.— toopsy turvy
fruit in due season — fruit is love, mercy grace
leaves do not wither — signs to measure too wet..
As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
It would be nice to stay near the buffet.
It would be nice to stay near the oak tree base.
Is that where Christ calls us?
It would be comfortable to stay in the bed.
It would be comfortable to be served instead of serving.
Is that where Christ needs us?
It would be safe to mind your own business
It would be safe to keep to your self.
Is that what Christ tells us?
It would be polite to leave people alone
It would be polite to never bother anyone
Is that what Christ showed us?
It would be understandable to hide our fears
It would be understandable to wait for safer conditions
Is that how Christ leads us?
It would be politically correct to tolerate all things
It would be politically correct to look the other way
Is that how Christ stands for us?
It would be acceptable to the world to only look after our own.
It would be acceptable to the world to justify our own will is divine right.
Is that why Christ died for us?
It would be easy to live Jesus back in history or up in heaven.
It would be easy to say it does matter what I do or do not do.
Is that why Christ rose from the dead, for us
Jesus came, as God Almighty & Al-gracious, to show us how to live and love both God and all people…
We live in a SERVE-me environment
We live in the midst of War, Famine, Fear & Greed
WHAT ARE WE TO DO?