Week 19 Friday

Sounds of Joy and Gladness

Today’s scripture selection: Jeremiah 32-36

Key verses: Jeremiah 33:10-11

One of my favorite things to do is work with the young children of the congregation I serve as pastor.

Oh, from time to time, they get a little out of hand.  They get a little carried away; there is the occasional “meltdown” when one of them doesn’t get his or her way.  They are, after all, human children – and that’s human nature.  But, most of the time – they are a pure joy to be around.

And, that’s the sound they often make – sounds of joy and gladness.

They laugh, snort, and cackle for all their worth.  It doesn’t take much to get them going.  A silly joke; a funny face; a surprise treat; a well-played game.  They go at it with complete abandon.  And that is something that we adults sometimes find it difficult to do.

Burdened by all of our “adult” responsibilities; worried over all we have to do or all we have done that we shouldn’t have – it gets us down – and it’s hard to smile – much less “cavort”.

But, the Bible often reminds us that we should laugh, and sing, and give thanks, and make sounds of joy and gladness – often.

Even in the midst of judgment, a merciful God promises restoration.  That was the case when the prophet Jeremiah spoke to his people about both judgment and hope.

So, yes, life can be difficult – very difficult.

It’s only natural that you will, at times, find little to laugh about.

But, try to find it.  Try to find the mercy hidden in the judgment; the grace hidden in the pain; the hope hidden in the sorrow.

And when you find it – make sounds of joy and gladness.

After all, you’re a child of God.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving me the ability to find joy even in a world filled with pain.  AMEN.

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