Joy is Witness

This Sunday we come once again and hear the call to Rejoice! Rejoice! But what is “Rejoice”? How can we rejoice at a time when whole populations of people experience oppression and persecution, in our immediate communities, our nation, and the world? But we are called to rejoice, even when things seem dismal and desperate. Why is that? How can we rejoice and tell others to rejoice honestly, without seeming like delusional fools? How can we show joy in such a way that still honors the very real struggles for existence in our world?

Witness – call out joy; let people know you have seen their rejoicing, even in the midst of sorrow or tragedy. Our communities make us stronger, the ties between each of us are truly binding when we lean into them. The sorrow of one person is felt by all, but so is the joy, so the best thing we can do is to stay in communication and contact with our friends, family members, and neighbors all over who witness joy in different forms, be it supplying fresh water in a brackish flood, or working for justice to help better the lives of people who have been wronged. Joy is witness to God’s work in the world, and despite challenges and depressing conditions that should inhibit joy, we know God is at work, active in the world.

As we await Christ’s coming into the world, let us watch and listen for Joy as people share with us. And when we hear sorrow and mourning, grief and despair, listen and sit and witness their broken heart. Joy and good news does not have to be balloons and a parade. Joy is just as powerfully those quiet moments when someone says, “You are loved.”

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