Seventh Sunday of Easter – The Sunday after Ascension

Hi everyone,

As I sit in my study at varied times one of my neighbours takes his dog out, I say takes his dog out advisedly. She wears a body harness and is a fairly stocky girl, if the weather is good she trails along behind just a little, if it is raining it gives more of an impression of being dragged along, not cruelly I hasten to add, she is a dog who unlike the “normal” picture of man and dog, gives the distinct impression she would rather not bother and stay at home! Some of you will appreciate that thought. If we as neighbours happen to meet outside, she almost drags him over so she can have a stroke and a chat. So there is something for her about the beginning and ending of a walk, I can’t say about the middle never having meet her out and about.

In our readings this week we are focusing on joy. Jesus says: “But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves….So that they may have the full measure of my joy within them”. Joy is a balance in our lives it is part of the whole, underpinning our faith and way of being.

Our faith, Christianity is about good news, that is what the word Gospel literally means. Some may think that Christians are against life being good and want to stop the fun, but actually quite the opposite is true. Jesus told his followers that he came so that we could have life and have it abundantly. The Christian story is one of how we can all get more out life. As Christians we are all called by God to let others know that the path to fulfilment and real purpose in life, is found in Jesus. Jesus was accused of being too joyful at times, when he went to peoples homes and ate, and laughed with them, those who had nothing to lose and recognised God’s love for them in their

The good news is that the future city of God will be a place of Joy. When we sing hymns and songs which speak of Joy, often the words are taken from Scripture. Think of ‘You shall go out with Joy and be led forth in peace and the mountains the hills shall break forth before you.’ These words are taken from Isaiah 55:12

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Oh, how we long to sing it again. Jesus encouraged us to think of the future as a time of Joy, so that it sustains us now when times are difficult. When we can be overcome with sadness and pain.

“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, the forecast is filled with rain, there are many who will be rejoicing this week, not the dog though.

I have just realised that the good intention of putting a bug house on the side of the garage has not quite had the outcome I imagined. It is situated not too far away from a nesting box where the Blue Tit mum and dad are busy feeding as much as they can to hungry babies. I have just seen one of them go to the bug house and take a poor bug out then take it to the nest. Probably plenty of joy for the birds, poor old bugs.

Be Blessed Rev Georgina

Meditation

Joy may be expressed in laughter, yet it draws from a deep spring that keeps flowing long after transient laughter has died. Joy survives the fleeting happiness of this world, and overcomes the tears of our too short lives, because it trusts in the promise of the world to come. Joy enables us to be cheerful even when the world has become tired and grey with grief and worry.