Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Katie Snipes Lancaster
When I remember you in my prayers,
I always thank my God.
A Look at Joy
In John 15:10–11 we hear these words from Jesus: If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
To what shall this “complete joy” be compared? A little later in the farewell discourse, Jesus compares it to childbirth: “When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you” (John 16:21–22). Jesus’ mission is for the sake of joy, yes—but not just any joy. Think of it he says, like the joy of a new mother, strong and creative, exhausted and exultant, a joy that is no stranger to anguish, and above all the joy of having brought new life into the world. From this angle, we may put the poetry this way: every Christian disciple is a mother or a midwife!
(Excerpted from the essay “Love for the Sake of Joy,” May 4, 2021 by the Salt Project)
Make our joy complete, O Lord.
A strong, creative, exhausted, exultant joy.
Make our joy complete.