A Time of Joy
Easter is the great celebration of the Christian Church when our sorrow of Good Friday at the death of Jesus on the Cross, turns to joy as we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Savior. If Teilhard de Chardin is correct, and “joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God,” then we Christians ought to be the most joyful people around, living in the light of Easter!
That new life that is Easter reminds us that in the midst of our own sorrows, our own pain, that God is still at work in our world and in our lives today. Even as we watch with horror the random senseless acts of violence that seem to be gripping our society, the wars and unrest around the world, and the problems of debt and finances within our own communities and homes, Easter reminds us that death does not have the final word, despair is not our answer, violence and debt are not our rulers. God is in charge and God intends that we live in joy.
We are joy filled because we live in hope. So many of our Easter hymns and poems speak of the dying brought to new life, the winters turning to spring, of God bursting forth from the tomb and the whole world turning upside down. As the old saying goes, “hope springs eternal.” Our God is not held back by stones or locked doors or even closed hearts, God in Jesus comes into our lives with the message of hope, love, joy and peace, seeking out hearts to live in joy and to spread that joy to our hurting world.
As we celebrate and live in Eastertide, we cannot simply celebrate our joy alone. We are called forth like the disciples from our locked rooms to go out and spread the Good News, to help others feel that joy, love and hope in their lives. Who is hurting now? Who needs our help? Our love?
As I pray with my children before they go to bed, I often have my children join me in this prayer:
May I have joy in my heart.
May I find joy in my life.
May I bring joy to others.
May I spread joy through the world. Amen.
This Eastertide, may joy be in your homes, in your hearts, and in your hands.