I title this post after a book of my favorite author, C.S. Lewis, though it actually has little to do with him.
I attend church regularly, and when one does so, it eventually tends to happen that most sermons are content of which one is already aware. Last Sunday however, I have to say that I was, “surprised by joy.” Literally, it was the topic of the sermon. But it was presented in such a way as to really hit me. Because it was presented as an examination of the joy of a child. I often tell the hubby how grateful I am to have our children, that despite how much work they are that they make life better. A big reason for this, for me, is that whenever I get down on the world, I look at our kids, or any kids for that matter, and see how much boundless energy and joy they have. They are happy to be alive. The kiddo, a couple of weeks ago said to me spontaneously, “I am excited to wake up every morning, because I want to find out what’s going to happen that day.” My thought was, at what point in our lives does that feeling go away? Or at least, when did it go away for me, and when did it, on most days, get replaced with a feeling of dread?
So when the speaker began telling of a trip to NYC he took with his wife and nephew, and shared some stories of the nephew and his expressions of joy, it was so nice to hear a sermon based on this premise.
There were a few neat quotes that I took down, the sermon begun with one by G.K. Chesterton:
“Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.”
The speaker talked about the retired senior pastor of our church, and his wife, who are in their 80’s. They still have so much vitality, and in reference to them he said, “You know you are getting old when you have more memories than dreams.” This pastor and his wife still have so many great dreams for our church and it’s urban neighborhood as well as for other areas of the world, that it keeps them young at heart.
He talked about how God is so full of joy and that sometimes we miss that. That joylessness is a sin. He had a quote by A.W. Tozer, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”
It was a nice “feel-good” sermon, and was just something I needed. I’d never thought of God being the source of that child-like joy, or God having that particular quality Himself for that matter.
Have you been surprised by joy lately?
Until next time,