Today’s Advent candle was pink. On this Sunday the theme of joy resonated through the lessons. So I wondered out loud today, is joy a common response to God’s presence with us?
David danced for joy when the ark came back to Jerusalem. Unborn John the Baptist jumped for joy when the unborn Son of God showed up at his mom’s house. The magi rejoiced with exceeding joy when they saw the star. When God shows up to save, joy follows.
Even God rejoices. He rejoices to be with his people, to be reconciled to them, to see their lives restored. I wonder how many people picture God as a happy, joyful God rather than a stern, angry God.
We have a picture of a laughing Jesus in our house. I brought it for the children’s sermon today and asked, “Why do you think Jesus is so happy?” One young man, probably about five, said, “I think Jesus is laughing because someone just told a joke.” I really liked that answer. I like to think of God as someone with a sense of humor. If the Son of God can experience grief, why not joy?
In John15 Jesus wants his disciples to have the same joy that he has, so he must be joyful. Every time someone could see or hear again, got up and walked, or even came back to life, I like to picture Jesus filled with joy, seeing his creation restored.