Radical Joy

“Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, ‘How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but Yours are not?’  Jesus answered, ‘How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.’” Mark 2:18-20

A few years ago my wife and I attended a picnic for the preschoolers at our church.  It was a beautiful day.  We sat on quilts spread on the ground in the courtyard, which was located next to the church auditorium.  We ate great food and watched happy, energetic children run and play games.  Everyone had a great time.    

As the children played, I began to notice somber men and women, dressed in dark suits and dresses, making their way from the parking lot to the auditorium.  They were there for a funeral.  For a moment I was very uncomfortable to think about having such a good time at a picnic while other people, who were sad and grieving, were arriving to mourn their friend. 

And then something dawned on me.  Every day, some people are going to picnics and some people are going to funerals.  However, no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in – whether in great happiness or in deep sadness - we can have real and lasting joy in Jesus Christ.  The joy found in Jesus surpasses our circumstances. So, today, whether you are having a picnic kind of day, a funeral kind of day, or any kind of day in between, thank God for His gift of radical joy! 

Have a great day and keep moving forward!