Sunday will mark the end of our series on joy, but that will not stop us from rejoicing. In the same way that Paul wrote to the Church in Philippi (4:4), I say to you: “Rejoice in the lord always; again I will say rejoice.”
As disciples of Christ we are called to share all that we have been given, from the littlest thing right through the most important. As I spoke on Sunday when talking to the theme of joy in submitting, in saying yes to Jesus, we should be compelled to a life of giving away that which we have received – sharing all the God has given us.
“By receiving grace, you give grace. By receiving forgiveness, you give forgiveness. The things which God lavishes upon you should compel you to give them to others time and time again.”
Sharing is multi-faceted. Think for a moment about all that you have, and in that all you can share. As followers of Christ we are called to surrender all to Christ. We are to live a life which not only declares with our words but expresses in our hearts that Jesus is Lord – that is Lord of all. If we are to really live this then everything that comes to mind doesn’t actually belong to us but has been placed in our hands to steward. That means to use as Christ would intend us to, and not as we may want to, as and when that differs. This starts of course with your life and your faith.
How do you share life? How do you share faith? We are made to be in community, and right now as we are in the midst of a pandemic – one which we are not sure when will end – people are struggling to live with that. We are thankful for technology which can be used to bring us together. Virtual Church has been a blessing. Prayer4All is fantastic. Discipleship4All has been a great addition to the calendar of St. John. However, none of this, as it is happening at this moment, is what we crave, because of the joy that is in sharing.
Life is for sharing. We are not created to live a life of solitude. If we take for a moment a dictionary definition of joy, we see a description of a “a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.” Introvert or extrovert, whichever way you are energized – people, maybe not all people, but those special to you, bring you joy.
The definition for Christian joy which I gave last week, as a defining characteristic of the Spirit at work causing you to see and know Jesus, really helps to feed into our want and need for community. To have faith is to see and know Jesus, and to see and know Jesus is to share faith. Of all the things that you have in life, the most valuable is your relationship with Jesus. This is what should bring you the most joy, as the Spirit works in you to allow you to develop that relationship and see and know him more and more. That’s what I want to encourage you to share as that is what will generate the most joy in your life.