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What is Joy?


Dear Church Family and Community,


A little while back, my wife kindly reminded me that being physically in a space is not even close to being actually present in that same space and time. It wasn’t harsh, but quite loving actually. It caught me off guard, but was also an enlightening jolt and wake-up call. We will get more joy out of this life the more intentional we are with being present within each moment and interaction, and with each person with whom we’re blessed to share this life.


I think that we have become so good at multitasking and living in our loud and busy world, that we find it nearly impossible to focus, to be present, and to seek and be blessed by silence and solitude. Multitasking helps us get stuff done, but I’m not sure how well. Loud and busy may make us feel important, but it also sometimes misses our true worth. I am finding that being all the way present, and countering loud with silence and busyness with solitude, is a much easier and fulfilling path to sustained joy in this life.


When we think of joy, we may be reminded of the delight of a genuine smile, a delicious meal, or a hearty belly laugh. We may think of dancing and not caring who’s watching, crying happy tears, or the satisfaction of a job well done. Joy can be found in holding a newborn baby, sitting under the stars, or conversations with loved ones that need no words. I believe the reason we find joy in all these things and so much more is because joy is simply celebrating God’s blessings.


In times of crisis, we often look for escape or a way out. Some of us may even choose the healthier route of fellowship or positive friendship and companionship. Crisis impacts all of us. Crisis impacts all of us differently. Fight or flight may be considered. Family and friends may be close, or held in our hearts and minds. Nevertheless, to grow in joy, in this and every moment of crisis we walk through in this life, we also have to be very intentional of spending time and being present with God.


In this and every season, we must honestly ask and answer, is this a season of growing?


Living by the Spirit produces fruit. The fruit of life by the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This week, we’re going to talk about joy. Joy is being present in our moments and with our people. Joy is being fully present with God. Joy is celebrating God’s blessings every day. And joy gifts us growth with God that overflows to our world.


May God’s peace that passes all understanding find you. May the Spirit of God refresh and restore your soul. And may Jesus’ turning to God in crisis keep calling us to do the same.


God bless you all.

Love in Christ,

Pastor Hank (Habakuk 3:17-19)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104