May 7, 2009

and he went on his way rejoicing

I just read one of those "everybody in ministry knows this story" posts over at A Church for Starving Artists.  The post itself rovolves around one of the most difficult and frustrating parts of life in the Church, people.  Not individuals, per se, but people, that great nebulous and anonymous group called people and the negative impact they can have by their talking.  People in the Church are what sucks the joy right out of it.

I then opened up the Lectionary texts for Sunday and read the Acts Lesson with the Ethopian Eunich and Philip.  It is a great story; almost an Old Testament prophet's tale smack in the middle of the formation narrative of the Church.  What struck me was that bit at the end where the Eunich comes up from the water, finds Philip gone, and "he went on his way rejoicing."

Joy is never a bad thing.  Joy is a fruit of the Spirit and a gift from God, and it seems like we spend most of our lives trying to stuff it down inside.  We find fault instead of seeking goodness.  We complain rather than enjoy what we've got.  Maybe it all gets just a little too routine and we get bored.  I'm not really sure why joy isn't always a part of life, but I'm reminded this morning that when we find God, like the Eunich did on the wilderness road, we find joy.

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