“Joy is the flag flown high from the castle of my heart…” Pastor Rob’s spontaneous leading of the congregation in songs about joy this past weekend reminded me that just a couple of weeks ago I sang this little tune to my youngest grandson, Dominic, as he was drifting off to sleep at nap time. It was like a double dosing of joy for me that day, you know? First, I was filled with joy because I know that “the king is in residence there” (in my heart). And second, because there is nothing that brings me greater joy than spending time with my darling grandchildren!!
I was also reminded on Sunday of a study I’m doing right now in the first book of Thessalonians. (I really enjoyed reading those verses in Chapter 1 since I’ve studied them so recently!) The Apostle Paul, along with Silas and Timothy, wrote this letter to a group of new Christians in Thessalonica who had become incredibly dear to them. In fact, Paul says of them, “For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?” (1 Thess. 2:19)
I can think of a bunch of scriptures about joy that speak to me, can’t you? But none quite so eloquent – or so challenging – as the one Paul wrote about this little group of new believers in Thessalonica. It simply begs the question I can’t get out of my head: has my walk of faith ever brought that kind of joy to anyone? Hmmm…
Which brings me to another one of the ‘joy’ scriptures I love: Zephaniah 3:17 in the King James Version of the Bible. This time it’s a reminder of the joy that the Lord has in us: “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Do you know how I memorized that verse? Yup – in a song, of course! And maybe the next time my grandson is in my arms, I’ll sing it for him. After all, if God can ‘joy over me with singing’ it’s perfectly okay for me to belt out a joyful ditty or two, too!