I come with joy to meet my Lord, forgiven, loved, and free, in awe and wonder to recall his life laid down for me, his life laid down for me.
“I Come with Joy”
The United Methodist Hymnal #617
Full confession: I didn’t come with joy. It had been a long day, a hard day, a stressful day. As I got ready to head to the church for our Twilight Communion outdoor services, I was still carrying the burdens and frustrations of the day. I wasn’t coming begrudgingly or reluctantly, but I also wasn’t “coming with joy.”
Then my car wouldn’t start, and joy went right out the window.
I didn’t come with joy. I didn’t come with joy to the church, or to the parking lot, or to the table. I didn’t come with joy… but I certainly left with it. Something happened there, church. Something happened at Christ’s table. Something happened there as I gathered outdoors with you, seeing you face-to-(masked)-face, breaking bread and praying prayers with you. Something happened to my burdened heart and my frustrated spirit. Something happened, something powerful enough to turn those burdens and frustrations into honest-to-goodness joy.
How did it happen? I mean, it’s just a baguette from Panera. A miniature bottle of Welch’s grape juice. Nothing fancy. Nothing special. How can that have an impact on anything? How can that make a dent in my burdens or frustrations?
How? I don’t know. It’s beyond words. It’s a mystery. But as I drove home with a lightened heart and a renewed spirit, I couldn’t help but think: He did it again! He showed up again! He worked a miracle with bread and juice again!
Think “miracle” is too strong a word for it? I don’t. When burdens and frustrations are transformed into joy… I don’t think any other word would suffice.
I didn’t come with joy… but I left with it. You may not be meeting this day, greeting this day, coming to this day with joy. Yet there’s still time, still room, still hope for joy.
May your burdens and frustrations be transformed into joy, friends. After all:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
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