Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Joy to the World

A wonderful reminder, and encouragement, from Christianity Today online magazine:

"It is astonishing," wrote Karl Barth, "how many references there are in the Old and New Testaments to delight, joy, bliss, exultation, merry-making, and rejoicing, and how emphatically these are demanded from the Book of Psalms to the Epistle to the Philippians."

Indeed, from "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth!" (Ps. 100:1) to "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" (Phil. 4:4)—and dozens of places before and after and in between—we are urged to lead joy-filled lives.

. . . We do well to recall how the incarnate God began his ministry among us. He never relented from the message that, though life comes only by way of death, life really is the point. "It's Cana of Galilee, the first miracle," says Father Paissy in The Brothers Karamazov. "Ah, that miracle! Ah, that sweet miracle! It was not men's grief, but their joy Christ visited. He worked his first miracle to help men's gladness."

There is a time to ponder the sobering reality of evil, to write the occasional dirge. But G. K. Chesterton knew well the greater truth—which is why the Bible harped on it so. A person is fully human, he says, "when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul. Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live."

Read the entire article here >>

Blessings (and Joy!)
3 John 8
Bill H.

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