“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have rescued.”  Psalm 71:23

  “Joyfully give thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.”  Colossians 1:11-12

Euphoria … bliss … insanely happy.  What will it take?  How can I feel it?  El Dorado – having enough wealth to have anything I want?  The Fountain of Youth – feeling young and fit?  I don’t.   I don’t feel euphoric reading the newspaper. 

I don’t feel blissful when those I love have worries.  I don’t feel insanely happy knowing others don’t have enough to eat or clean water, are cold and homeless.  How – in this world – can I feel “joyful”?  Ah, God provides, if we will see. Anne Sexton’ wrote a poem (Welcome Morning) about joy for everyday things … every day.  A towel, a hairbrush, breakfast, her “pea green” house, the birds outside her window.  Even as our beloved Earth has immense needs and can dish out grief, she serves up immense beauty and wonder.  The seasons, the sky, new beginnings … spring flowers and birth, our own babies (and their Baptism, children of God).  There is joy living with gratitude for what we have and in taking care of it; living with compassion and generosity, caring for those we read about in the newspapers, who live next door, are right next to us.   

The peace – and joy – of God that passes all understanding has nothing to do with power and possessions.  Once again the angels of the Lord have come and brought “good tidings of great joy … unto [us] is born [everyday] a Savior.”  The Word was made flesh and came/comes to us, full of grace and truth.  The stuff is back in boxes up in the attic, but we pray the joy of God’s gifts, can be seen in our “front window” everyday.   

God of glory, Lord of love … We joyfully praise you … for the gifts of nature and beauty, art and music, love; we humbly adore you for what you have done for us … your grace and mercy, your peace and joy that passes all understanding.  Amen  

Verla Olson