Greetings all, just a reminder that our Fruit of the Spirit sermon series continues on Sunday with “Joy.”  Here is a primer…

“Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.”

-Psalm 30: 5b

As you may recall the purpose of this series is for the Fruit of the Spirit to be held in tension with the national mood as the Presidential election runs its course.  With that in mind, I submit the above passage from Scripture as the one which best illustrates the feelings of many of us when this thing finally ends.

This has been a Presidential contest devoid of joy.  I am certain you have felt that.  This absence provides us with an opportunity for reflection.  What is joy?  Joy is often mistaken with happiness, but it is not.  I am happy when the Kansas Jayhawks win a basketball game.  I experience joy when I see my children experiencing the beauty of life.  Do you see the difference?  Joy is about the best moments of living; the quintessential emotions which draw us closer to God and to one another.  That is joy.

And joy is never as far away as we think.  While we have been immersed in a sea of politics-related negativity, joy has always been right here, and it reminds us that this negativity does not have the final say on our lives.  Joy comes from authentic worship.  It comes from humble service. It comes from sharing laughter or even tears.  Joy reminds us that we belong to God, and that is a good thing.  Life offers us many moments of joy.

As this season runs its course remember that joy, true joy, is a gift from God.  That gift has been sprinkled all over this world and in your life.  And it is never as far away as you think.

Prayer:  Holy God, please help me to feel joy over the coming days.  Remind me of your presence.  Inspire me to love well my neighbor.  Help me to see your good creation all around me.  I offer this prayer in Jesus’ name.  Amen.