What does it take to make you happy these days?
For me, it's an episode of Perry Mason. A book in my lap. An ice-cold coke. A sunny day with a clear blue sky. A quiet evening at home, followed by a warm bed to crawl into.
Each of us could come up with a list of favorite simple pleasures. What would be on yours?
As I write this, a snow storm is on its way to the Twin Cities. Inflation has taken hold. (Have you seen the price of gas lately!) Crime is a real threat. The specter of war hangs over Europe. COVID lingers and lurks.
On top of all this, churches in America are closing left and right. This painful reality hits close to home. Our Saviour's could be on her last legs.
Before I return to the topic at hand, I felt it necessary to assure you that I don't look at life through rose-colored glasses.
With this being said, yesterday morning something happened to me that is difficult to put into words. Like some of you, I was in church. In the middle of the service, out of nowhere, a feeling of pure joy came over me.
It was the joy of being in the presence of God. It was the joy of being able to make Psalm 16:2 my prayer. It was the joy of remembering that God is God and that He is still in charge of our world. It was the joy of realizing that, no matter what tomorrow may bring, God is with me. It was the joy that comes from knowing that, in Christ, my sins have been washed away. It was the joy of being reminded that the Christian faith is the most excellent way to live (the focus of my sermon).
My joy lingered for a while, carrying over into Bible study. (In all of my years of ministry, almost twenty-five now, I've never had this much fun teaching our Sunday morning class as I'm having right now.)
Pure joy is still out there to be had.
Most often, I find it in church, in worship and in Bible study.
How about you?
In our Sunday morning Life with God class this year we've been looking at the early history of the Church. Yesterday, one of the writings that we read and discussed is known as the Epistle to Diognetus. This brief letter has much to teach us today about living by faith in a pagan culture. Here is a link to it, if you're interested in checking it out for yourself.
I dedicate this post to Sarah, a young confessional Lutheran living in Brazil. Keep the faith!