Advent Week 3

Stupid Joy

Isaiah    61:1-2a, 10-11

John     1:6-8, 19-28

How does one begin to analyze joy?   What is the deep biblical meaning of joy?  The passage from Isaiah refers to God as the “joy in my soul”.  John the Baptist is often associated with the joy of religious ecstasy.

Honestly, the process of analyzing joy as a useful function tends to diminish its function.  We can use joy as a mind set to do the things we really don’t want to do, but is that really joy?  Can I joyfully clean the cat box?  Sure, I can rejoice in the result having a clean cat box, but the drudgery, there is no joy there.  I am certain that there will be a dutiful message of joyfully being good little Christian children radiating from many pulpits this Sunday.  Messages of joyfully fulfilling those things we are supposed to be doing.  But is this going to bring us to God?  Can you imagine John the Baptist faking it as he went through the motions on the banks for the River Jordan?

This is what I mean by stupid joy.  It’s that kind of joy that rises up unexpectedly, maybe even inappropriately.  The kind of joy that makes even the most somber, serious person look like an idiot.  The kind of joy that has you laughing until you cry and only stopping because you can no longer breathe. What I’m talking about is the uncontrollably drooling, pee in your pants kind of joy.

When Isaiah talks about the joy in one’s soul, I don’t think he is talking about being contented with obtaining some level of Godliness.  I think, like the idea that God is love, that God is joy.  Finding that joy in your soul is a glimpse of God.  In other words, experiencing joy is experiencing God.

Join us this Sunday at the Kessler Theater at 11:00am for talk and songs about joy.

Meanwhile watch this video


Paul Semrad

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