Categories
Hope

From Grief to Joy

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I have told you these things, so that you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Jesus (John 16:33)

What “things” is Jesus talking about–that he told them?


Christ had just shared the news that he was soon to be betrayed and arrested, falsely accused and convicted, and then brutally executed. Furthermore, as these events unfolded, most everyone listening to this unwelcome monologue would run for their lives.

Yet He told them these things so that they could have peace.

Peace!?


Absolute worst case scenarios don’t usually include serenity.
But Jesus knew the WHOLE story: 72 hours later He would be alive again and the disciples’ grief would turn to joy.

It’s likely you’re already familiar with the story, so I’ll get to the point.

Isolation is cured by authentic community.

The disciples were cowering behind locked doors for fear of arrest, until the risen Christ Himself came knocking. Isolation changed to authentic community the second someone turned the bolt!

Once united, these former frightful believers in Christ soon turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6)!

I bet, like me, you’ve experienced everything from rock bottom grief to over the moon joy. Here’s the good news: Christ said one day it will ALL be joy,
because the Prince of Peace overcame the world and started the most authentic community EVER!

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

Mother Teresa
Categories
Hope Purpose Sufficiency

Do Your Thing, Ding-a-ling!

“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”

1 Corinithians 12:7

Being a part of a hand bell choir is a rewarding, yet often daunting, experience. Picture nine people standing behind a long line of tables filled with bells. Every ringer plays at least two–one for each hand. Thankfully, you are only responsible for the bells in front of you. A space note in the left hand. A line note in the right. It sounds simple enough, right? But playing your part means finding and following these two notes as they bob up and down in a sea of black ink. Meanwhile, every other ringer at the table is trying to do the same thing! And one mistake can bring EVERYBODY down. It feels like taking a tightrope walk over a waterfall with several of your friends.

“Just play the notes at the proper time and everything will be fine.”

Doris, our brave director.

It seems that playing in a handbell choir is much like being part of a Christian community–the Body of Christ. In his first letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul compares the church to a human body whose many parts make up a whole:

“As it is, there are many parts, but one body…If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

1 Corinthians 12:20,26

In other words, everyone matters if anyone matters at all.

At this point in your Christian journey, please remember the following:

There are parts of the song that can only be played by you.

So do your thing, ding-a-ling!

“Therefore, dear soul, in this life you are receiving a music lesson from the Father. You are being trained to sing in a choir you cannot see, and there will be parts in the chorus that only you can sing.”

George Matheson