People of Joy
Around here, the first Sunday of each month is when we celebrate the Lord’s Supper. As is always the case, tomorrow’s service will take place in the context of real lives affected by loss, uncertainty, pain, and misfortune. But we will be reminded again tomorrow that the brokenness of our lives and our world is never the whole story. In my preparatory reading this week, I came across this passage from Gordon Smith’s A Holy Meal that reminds us that in the midst, the Eucharist establishes us as people of joy:
A simple but powerful principle of the spiritual life is that thankful people are happy people. It is not that the church does not see the brokenness of the world and the pain that intersects so much of human life. It is not that the church is naive and does not care about this pain; the Christian community sees and feels keenly the brokenness of the world. But in the celebration of the Eucharist, the church declares that in the midst of all that is wrong, God is the ruler yet, and God is good. The church believes that something bigger and more ultimate stands at the center of the mess. As Chesterton often insisted, we take joy in the deep things, those things that matter most. Yes, we grieve. But we know that those things will one day pass. When we take the larger view, when we think cosmically, the center of the universe is a throne, and on the throne sits the risen Lord Jesus Christ. This, more than anything, establishes us as people of joy.