“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
Sometimes I can’t believe that I get to do what I get to do. Like this Sunday. The Gathering Church is having a big celebration in our new location. (“Big” is defined by anytime we bring in barbecue!) We are inviting friends, neighbors, and co-workers to come and check out the potential of this new church. We are eager to include others in a growing experience of getting to know and enjoy God, and getting to know and enjoy others.
And I get to explain that Jesus was all about us experiencing the very same joy that he had in his relationship with God, the Father.
The words quoted above from John 15:11, and including the verses before and after, make it clear that Jesus was committed – unto his death – to make sure that we knew and enjoyed God like he did.
Literally, he said, “I want to fill up your joy, until it’s spilling over.” I wonder how many of us connect this joy-commitment to Jesus, or to God. It’s easier to associate a sternness to God, like he’s mostly busy keeping track of all the ways we fall short.
Maybe I’m the only one who struggles with a distorted view of God that finds it hard to imagine His joy. Hard to imagine the joy between the Father and the Son. Instead, seeing them in heaven totally pre-occupied with a gruesome plan to overcome our sins- to overcome evil.
The neat thing is that in the other verses Jesus connects this joy to the way we love and enjoy one another. In other words, we get to taste it already.
So, I not only get to explain things, I get to invite people to taste the joy of this love.
And that’s awesome.
So, I can’t wait until Sunday. I’m still thinking of people to include.