Sunday, May 24, 2009

Joy and More Joy

Today's Link
Lutheran Hymn Revival

Today's Saying
John 17:13"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. "

Today's Picture
Our hanging garden-Then came the wind

In the liturgical churches the season of Easter comes to an end on this the seventh Sunday in Easter. Next Sunday is Pentecost and an entire new cycle begins. The text that the common lectionary gives us ( John 17:6-19) for this Sunday seems perfectly fitting. It is Jesus praying for his followers.
I have always loved this text. Jesus turns to the Father and asks Him to care for the disciples and us. He knows how heavy it can be to try to share the glory of God in the World. He knows the pain. He knows the rejection. He knows the sadness that comes when people walk away. He knows how hard it will be for them and us to carry on. But he knows something else as well. He knows the joy of walking in the light of the Father. He wants the Father to insure that the disciples and you and I don’t lose the joy.
Every time I read this text I am amazed.
I don’t usually think of joy and Christianity as belonging together.
So much of what passes for the faith is so joyless.
But here is Jesus the founder of the Faith praying that we might have a full measure of joy.
He who died for us wants us to have joy.
More than that he wants us to have a full measure.
Not just a little bit of joy.
Not just occasional joy.
But a full measure of His joy.
Joy upon joy.
Sometimes I think if you want to test to see if somebody is a Christian we only need to ask one question. Not “ How great is your faith/” Who really knows that.
Not “ How holy are you?” Who really knows that?
Not “ How many good deeds have you done?” God isn’t counting
Just ask “ How joyful are you?”
No joy! No Jesus!
Of course , it would be wrong to try to decide if somebody is or isn’t in.
That isn’t our job.
Our job is to share the joy as best we can.
Jesus prtayed for me that I might have a full measure of joy.
It is my prayer for each of you that read this blog that you might have joy upon joy.
News from Pigeon Falls
The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal
Over at Last Lutheran Pastor Joan is getting ready to preach today’s sermon. This is part of it:
“ How many of you have ever prayed that your members of your family would be filled with joy?
How many of you have prayed that your in-laws would be filled with joy.?
How many of you have ever prayed that your neighbors, the good ones, would be filled with joy?
How many of you have prayed that the not so good neighbors would be filled with joy?
But shouldn’t we?
Isn’t it our prime task as Christians to share the joy that we have in Christ?
Isn’t prayer part of that task.
But then I suppose that’s bad news.
Any time we are reminded of something God expects of us that we aren’t doing that’s bad news.
The Good News is that Jesus is praying that our joy will be full.
He is praying that we would have joy , upon joy, upon joy.
Because we belong to Him and He loves us.
We are his friends, his disciples.
He does not want us to go without joy.
That6’s the Good News.
Now when you have been filled with the joy let a little spill out and touch others.
They need Good News too.

Wrap UP
It was a great day. The Church service was great. The choir was fantastic . So, of course, I hit the wrong button on the camera and failed to record them. But I did get the sermon. Our saffron buns went very well at coffee time. I came home and brought St. Mark's website up to date. Then I visited all the blogs that left comments here yesterday. On Quilly's blog I found the weirdest set of comments on yesterday's entry. It was over my shoelaces. You never know what your going to find. I ended the day by reading all the comments on today's entry. I have such nice internet friends and they leave such wonderful comments that I almost cried with joy. Now I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger Melli said...

Oh BOY!!! If it's JOY we're judging on, I AM IN!!! IN like Flynn! JOY is mine! Yes indeed! I even gave Amanda JOY as her middle name because I knew when she was born that she was a JOY to me! JOY! JOY! JOY! Joy to the world! I love JOY! I don't believe I have specifically asked for Joy for my loved ones though... I believe I call it peace and happiness when I pray... I WILL specifically pray for their JOY from now on though! JOY really is the BEST!

JOY to YOU today too Pastor! And every day!

5:18 AM  
Blogger Baron's Life said...

What a beautiful saying and wonderful post today...Joy to the world it is.

6:31 AM  
Blogger Finding Pam said...

Thank your for a wonderful truth. I will pray for a full measure of joy for all I know.

7:04 AM  
Blogger A Lady's Life said...

This is beautiful Dr John. I look at the icons and they are not joyful but Then I think it is because they see so much sin around them that putting a smiling face would look like they are supportive of it.
But the teachings point the way towards joy. Joy, every man woman and child on this planet should have if every one was nice to each other.It's not something that can't be attained, if every one wanted it.
Thanks :)

10:51 AM  
Blogger Amber Star said...

Dr. John,
You give me joy with your Superman tickles me when I see it, plus I know you will have left a witty something in my comments. When I saw you were posting about joy and the full measure of it, I immediately thought of Melli, who is one of the most joyous ever :o)

When you posted in my blog that your church had a polka service it made me wonder if there was dancing in the aisles. Oh my...I was going to ask if the dancing might have cooincided with Palm Sunday. However, when I googled it I became mired in minutae and gave up before I lost the joy of reading your blog.

Isn't it a cooincidence that Pastor Joan's sermon is on the same subject. Small world.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

Ah, yes, I always pray that my loved ones can know the full measure of joy that comes from knowing and loving Jesus! I still remember when that joy first came to me and how glorious it was. And with that joy came a peace so profound, I knew that no matter what my earthly future would hold, I was secure in God's love.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous quilly said...

Oh -- and I don't just want that feeling for my loved ones -- I want it for everybody! I wish I could just run around and pass it out ... and so I try to share God's love with everyone (well, mostly I try, but sometimes I do much better than others).

12:11 PM  
Blogger Alastair said...

Amen Dr John! Joy, a good thing. I don't recall Jesus ever mentioning that 'I came that their sombre seriousness might be complete'. Thank you for the timely reminder!

1:22 PM  
Blogger Lou said...

Dr J, I made the monthly trip to see my son today, so I missed church. But lucky for me, I found this powerful and inspirational message on your blog.
I say ask this question of a Christian:
"do you have grace?"

no grace, no Jesus

1:35 PM  
Blogger Lori's Minute said...

Just put up my hanging plants today.

3:04 PM  
Blogger Sandi McBride said...

I missed Mass this morning. Thank the Good Lord I have your blog.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Maude Lynn said...

No joy? No Jesus!

That says it perfectly, Dr. John!

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Alice Audrey said...

I don't think I've ever prayed that anyone be filled with joy, but I've prayed for people's happiness.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Voegtli said...

It felt like a sermon what you wrote today. And me, normally not going to Church, I felt as if I had gone to Church. Thank you.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

I am glad you enjoy your church as much as I enjoy mine!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Joy! I never thought of it quite that way.

Wishing you Joy.

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never thought of Joy like that as well. Excellent post :)

9:06 AM  
Blogger Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Remember when kids would sing, "I've got the JOY JOY JOY JOY down in my heart!" I can say I have joy, but I can't say I've ever prayed for everyone to be filled with it. Hmmmm...

REaDy for Pentacost! (that must have been a crazy party)

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wanted to add: my 2 favorite girl names (which I never got to use): Rebecca Joy & Rachel Grace

7:57 PM  

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