I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.John 15:11
Dear members and friends,
The very first time I felt a feeling that could be described as “joy” was when I met Heejoung at the airport in Chicago. Until that moment, she was just a voice over the phone. We had never met in person because I lived in the U.S. while Heejoung was in Korea. At times, she was only as real as a daydream because I thought, “At any moment she could decide not to answer my call.” Considering the odds, that was rather a high possibility. But despite it all, Heejoung decided to fly to the U.S. to meet me in person! Thus, as I was watching her walk toward me at the airport, I felt my heart brighten. What I thought was just a dream was becoming reality.
In the Bible, the first place we find the word “joy” is in Judges 19:3. The occasion is that a Levite and his concubine had a fight. So, she left him and went back home. Later, the Levite went to her village to get her back, and when the father-in-law saw him coming, he “came with joy to meet him.” When we consider the tradition of the time that a woman rejected by her husband is a shame and burden to her family, we may understand why the father-in-law greeted the Levite with joy. This is probably why the Hebrew word for joy could also means “to brighten up” or “to cheer up.” In John, Jesus emphasizes, “my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” Arguably, the very reason for the Divine Incarnation is that God desired to share the joy of God with all humans. The only challenge is, are we willing to accept it?
My brothers and sisters in God, let us take a moment and reflect deeply on what delights our hearts. I send my prayers and blessings to you all that you find heavenly joy in your hearts.
Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee