I’ve written a few times about what I believe is a very important, yet often neglected aspect of my Christian life.
And that is joy.
It is so easy to feel guilt, to feel ashamed of our sinful nature. It is easy to focus on the dramatic, the horrific.
During Easter, we often hear the truly terrible aspects of all that occurred during the moments before, and durning the crucifixion of our Savior.
We hear about Jesus being beaten, tortured, denied, abandoned.
It is good for us to hear this. We need to remember, and understand how big that sacrifice was.
We need to feel the weight of that decision.
But, our story does not end there.
Joy comes with the morning.
Our Savior did not stay in that tomb.
That is the true glory of Easter, of our faith, of our Father-God.
We have victory.
That should be celebrated.
This past Easter Sunday my church took a big risk in hosting a very unconventional Easter Sunday.
Instead of focusing on the weight of the tragedy of the Cross, we choose to focus on the joy of the resurrection.
To do this, our church hosted a massive party.
We blew up 2800 balloons:
We had 3000 pieces of candy.
We had coffee, and a DJ, and a photo booth:
And on the final floor, we had a band and bunch of raga-muffin folks raising their glasses (of ginger-ale) and giving toasts “To the God who…”
Literally shouting from the roof-tops the JOY of our Lord.
I’m just so proud.
This is what fellowship is about.
Yes, it is about rallying around your neighbor when they are in need. Being a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand.
BUT, it is also about celebrating the beauty of God’s work in each other’s lives.
Multiple people raised a glass to the God who healed them of different ailments: from cancer, to injury, to infertility.
Some raised a glass to forgiveness,
to reconciled relationships,
Oh the joy.
I am so grateful for this God I serve, no one has more to celebrate then I do.
Here’s to the God who loves me, and longs for me to experience his Joy.
Now your turn.
Raise your glass and say: “Here’s to the God who…”