Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. -Jesus
reading of a joy that could not be taken intrigued me. i wondered, is He talking about heaven, or will seeing Him alive again give these guys this un-take-able joy? will no one be able to take it from them even while left living out their days here on earth?
a few days later i got my answer…
They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name. Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Messiah.
what kind of joy is it that a flogging can not remove it? that they could feel the terror and excruciating pain and yet rejoice all at the same time? because i don’t believe it is an either/or situation here. i think it is something completely other. the light shines in the darkness, the darkness cannot not overcome it, yet, it still remains in contrast to it. Jesus says there is a joy that cannot be taken-no matter how dark things get. this is something i want. it is something i’ve been seeking to understand and take hold of ever since i sat there in awe at these verses coupled together in just such a way. if it’s a joy that cannot be taken, then it’s source must be different than the things that are bringing me joy today. these things that could be gone tomorrow. i know the Sunday School answer is that its source is Jesus. but what does this mean, how does this change my afternoon?
i named this blog; chasing joy. naming a blog is a hard thing to do, for how does one capture the main theme of their writing? i didn’t know, but i had perceived a theme permeating my everyday. a chasing after a joy that neither the wonderful and amazing nor the dry and weary and dark things could smother. that fullness of joy found in the very Presence of the One who’s Life is the Light of men.
so i named the blog and i started writing. but i never really connected the dots between the one and the other. October welcomes in the 31 days writing challenge, which is such a hard and meaningful exercise for me. the point is to focus in and go deeper into one topic. this year i’ll be diving deeper into this mysterious Joy i’ve been chasing after, the joy my Captain has been guiding my path towards all along. to see all the posts in the series, click here:
and here are other 31 days series i’ve done in the past:
to draw further in: John 1:1-14; John 16-17; Acts 5:17-41