October 31, 2012 by jmar198013
At some point–I think maybe a year ago?–we had a special service at the congregation I attend focused on joy, and I was one of the presenters. It must have only been a one or two minute talk.
The author of Hebrews wrote that, “Because of the joy awaiting him, [Jesus] endured the cross, disregarding its shame” (Heb. 12.2). These words remind us that joy, like its cousin hope, is a transcendent virtue. C.S. Lewis wrote that “joy always reminds beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings.” Joy is not a feeling. It isn’t an emotion. Rather, it is a motion. A running toward. A reaching. A leaning into. Joy does not resign itself to the present reality. Joy trusts that there is something better beyond the now. Because joy reminds and beckons. You have been loved. There has been peace. The world has known commonwealth. The voice of joy is what beckons us to walk through whatever the reality of now is, trusting that there will be love and peace and commonwealth again. The joyful are capable of so moving ahead, because joyful people are able to recall love and peace and commonwealth in the midst of betrayal, violence, and isolation. That is what is called rejoicing. Those who can rejoice are able to endure the cross before them, disregarding its shame, because all their “best havings are wantings.” And their longing is their strength.