Let Us Rejoice!
Let’s have a little fun. When Italian pastry chef Matteo Stucchi makes his culinary creations, you can bet he has a little fun. His cakes are clever, imaginative, and put a smile on my face (as well as a craving for sweets in my mouth!). I would love to be a fly on the wall of his kitchen as he brainstorms his next mini-world creation. You cannot look at his cakes without being a little amused or amazed.
Sometimes I am afraid we take life too seriously and have forgotten how to have fun. I do not mean to minimize the hard times we are going through. Sadness is a perfectly understandable reaction to the state of affairs in our world and our losses. Sadness may be for the moment but let us not let sadness win the day. Sadness in the face of God’s grace and mercy risks denying faith and hope that is ours through Christ.
Did you know sadness was once considered a deadly sin? In the fourth century, a monk named Evagrius identified the eight key temptations a Christian faced and they became known as the eight deadly sins. Pope Gregory the Great reduced them to seven to fit into the symbolic biblical number of seven. The one he lopped off was sadness.
Often at the start of worship, we quote Psalm 118:24: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” What joy can you find in your world today? What is one thing you can do that will make you smile? Which promise of God lifts your spirit? The prophet Habakkuk lamented over the messed-up world he lived in, until he finally concluded, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.” (Hab. 3:18)
I have a friend who, every day, texts me a joke. It is her attempt to spread a little fun over my day, just like we spread butter over toast. I appreciate her very much. How can we spread joy on another person’s toast? My guess is that by spreading joy, we may also get a little butter on ourselves.
Being Human connection: Go ahead, have some fun. Show yourself some grace. Give yourself some slack. The joy of the Lord is our strength.