Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Joy Complete

Now a discussion arose between some of John's disciples and a Jew over purification. And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”

He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. John 3:25-35

When I think of complete joy, I imagine my daughters dashing down the sand, dropping their towels and kicking off their shoes, and diving into the ocean. Their laughter rings in my mind, as I see them flying down the beach and taking on the waves during the summer. No anxiety, no fear is present and they are totally in the moment. As teenagers they may have been anxious about not being cool, but now, just as when they were small, they dove with reckless abandon. No one and nothing could curtail their complete joy.

John's disciples are confused and worried. Jesus has shown up on the scene and things are changing, Their guy is no longer the star of the show or the big draw. Yet John tells them that he was always the opening act and he was preparing them and the world for Jesus. It is hard for them to swallow all of this. And yet John finds the arrival of Jesus as complete joy - what he had been waiting for - for a very long time. He never wanted to be the star of the show. His desire was to make way for Jesus. And in that his joy was complete, to bring the incarnate God face to face with the world.

Today I ask God to help me find my joy in showing Christ to others. May we, by word and action, introduce God's love to a world that needs it, a world that so needs joy. May we find our bliss in sharing the love we have been given today.

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