Today’s Reading is: Psalm 30: 1,2,4,5 and Philemon 1: 4-7 (Paul’s Prayer to Philemon)
Psalm 30:1-2, 4-5 – New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up,
and did not let my foes rejoice over me.
2 O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you have healed me.
4 Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
5 For his anger is but for a moment;
his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning.
Philemon 4-7 – New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Philemon’s Love and Faith
4 When I remember you[a] in my prayers, I always thank my God 5 because I hear of your love for all the saints and your faith toward the Lord Jesus. 6 I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we[b] may do for Christ. 7 I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.
Thoughts on Today’s Reading—From Pastor Pam
C.S. Lewis said: “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”
The Psalmist wrote: “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)
The Apostle Paul wrote: “I have indeed received much joy and encouragement from your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, my brother.”
Scripture is full of references to joy and we’ll be talking about this during the next three Sundays at worship. Why, you might ask? It’s because Easter sunrise and the hope and joy of the Resurrection is not until mid-April. It’s because joy can’t wait. It’s because we need to fill our hearts, our Sanctuary and our church family with joyful witness to who Jesus is and how he is serious about joy.
It’s not that Christ doesn’t understand suffering and an angry and cruel world. Christ walks with us in our suffering. Joy is not completely elusive, but it needs to be nurtured and shared, and we, as the church, can do that.
In the month of February, we will be sharing stories and strategies of joy.
The Bible, as well as some of the world’s most celebrated religious leaders, have wisdom to share about finding joy, being joyful, rejoicing, and singing for joy.
Come and celebrate your spirituality. Come and build up each other. Let’s experience the joy of the Lord together.
Grace and Peace,