Prayer for the day
LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; hearken, O God of Jacob.
Scripture for the day
Most Christians aren’t known for their excessive celebratory attitudes. We’re more likely known as gloomy, rule-ridden, and depressing. God is referred to as the cosmic buzz-kill, the one who doesn’t want us to have any fun, or to enjoy ourselves.
Yet a quick look at the Psalms seems to indicate that this is not the case. Rather than being dour or depressing all the time, the Psalmist exhorts those who love the Lord to burst into song at the amazing love and grace he pours out on his people. The Psalmist recounts the marvels God has done, the wonder of his care and protection, the incredible graciousness of his character, and his steadfast and faithful love for us.
Our response, according to the Psalmist, ought to be less morbid and more joyous. We ought to be the people known for bursting into a song because of the joy in our hearts. Or id you don’t sing, at least break into a bit of a jig.
Paul didn’t seem to break into song all the time (unless you count a few times in prison) but as you read the letters that Paul writes along with his story in Acts, you get the sense that this is not a doom-and-gloom kind of fellow. Paul, even though he is in prison in Rome, continues to spread the joy of Christ as he witnesses to the goodness of God to everyone around him.
Paul is no respecter of persons when it comes to joy: he spreads it equally. There are people who have said Paul must have been boring or grumpy because of some of the content of his letters, but when I read about him challenging the religious leaders and telling the Jesus story to anyone who will listen, I see a man filled with the joy of Christ.
May we be known for the same joy.