In his Letter to the Philippians, in the 4th chapter, Paul exclaims, “Joy to you! Again I say, Joy!”
What is Joy?
Friedrich Nietzsche’s fundamental criticism of Christians was this: if you really believe what you say you believe, why are you so somber? Friedrich Rittelmeyer, first Erzoberlenker of The Christian Community, in the last three talks shortly before he died, put it this way (but I suspect with a twinkle in his eye): There is one duty for a Christian: JOY. I say, with a twinkle in his eye, because Rittelmeyer certainly knew through deep and manifold inner and outer experiences: you can’t force joy. You can’t compel it to fill your heart, mind and will.
So, once more, what is JOY?
This is one priest’s pondering, sensing, seeking to divine:
It doesn’t belong to us.
It isn’t ours to possess, even to hold on to.
It is a heavenly gift.
It is Angel Light. It is the Light that shines and streams forth for angel eyes when they are looking in two directions at the same time. Angels can do this: when they are looking upwards towards the Throne of God, which they are always doing, always taking in Light-Divine, and when they are looking down on us, on human beings and seeing us working hard, seeking, learning to sense, divine, come to know the Spiritual Realities that are all around us, seeking, learning to know how to love.
And, Oh, may that Light shine on us, on all of us and this story we are in.
May that Light shine in us and through us, out into all creation, waiting expectantly, out into the darknesses and dramas of the world.
by Richard Dancey