Apr. 30, 2012
Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
So this is how the author of Luke’s gospel closes out his account of Jesus’ life. Despite all of the white-knuckle days, the confusion and despair, the “I can’t believe it” moments, at the end of the day, the disciples found great joy in their risen Savior.
And in the end, this is one important aspect Jesus wants us to discover as Christians: joy. Great joy, in fact. Being a Christian is not to be uggy. (Is that a word? I think I just made it up.) It should bring a smile to our face, it should be a highlight of our day, it should be a feeling that overwhelms us and gives us peace.
Some recent moments of great joy I’ve experienced as a Christian:
- Watching four teens share their faith statements on Confirmation Sunday. I know they don’t have their faith all figured out. (I’m still trying to figure mine out and I could be their Mom!) Cole maybe said it best when he admitted that his faith would change in years to come. Amen.
- When a song from Sunday worship swirls around in my head for days to come. Today’s version: “I choose Jesus. I choose Je-e-sus.” Thanks Carrie, for sharing yesterday.
- Sophia’s excitement yesterday when she told me her Mom is pregnant. Sophia is 5 and her eyes could not have gotten any bigger or brighter when she told me her family is growing. I pray this little baby will be as healthy as possible, as Dad requested. A good weekend at the Nelson household, I do believe.
Can you name some recent “great joys” in your life? Pause for a moment. Thank God for these events that brings smiles to our cheeks and contentment to our souls.
Actually, the author of Luke’s Gospel doesn’t stop here. He actually writes a long epilogue. We know it as The Book of Acts. In Luke’s Gospel, he shares with us what Jesus did throughout his life and ministry. In Acts, we see the disciples – the 11 and many other new disciples – continue Jesus’ message into the known parts of the world at that time.
But the story doesn’t end there. Great joy does not have a cap. It continues today. We’re the hands and feet of this story today. We are the ones who can bring the joy of Jesus into this world today. It’s a message that needs to be heard. It’s a message that should be priority. It’s a message I pray we’ll share today and tomorrow.
Let us pray: He rules the world with truth and grace. And makes the nations prove. The glories of His righteousness. And wonders of His love. And wonders of His love. And wonders, wonders of His love. Amen.
Mid-February, I committed to blogging daily through Lent. As much as I enjoy writing a daily blog, it is not realistic for me to post daily all year. I’ll continue to post weekly or so. Please continue to share any blog that touches your heart with someone else. And keep in touch! I’ll continue to write and share but just not on a daily basis.