The Joy We Are So Apt to be Missing…

The Joy We Are So Apt to be Missing…

We are, above all things, loved—that is the good news of the gospel—and loved not just the way we turn up on Sundays in our best clothes and on our best behaviour and with our best feet forward, but loved as we alone know ourselves to be, the weakest and shabbiest of what we are along with the strongest and gladdest. To come together as people who believe that just maybe this gospel is actually true should be to come together like people who have just won the Irish Sweepstakes.

It should have us throwing our arms around each other like people who have just discovered that every single man and woman in those pews is not just another familiar or unfamiliar face but is our long-lost brother and our long-lost sister because despite the fact that we have all walked in different gardens and knelt at different graves, we have all, humanly speaking, come from the same place and are heading out into the same blessed mystery that awaits us all. This is the joy that is so apt to be missing, and missing not just from church but from our own lives–the joy of not just managing to believe at least part of the time that it is true that life is holy, but of actually running into that holiness head-on.

Hundreds of years before Jesus is born and embarks on a ministry of healing and preaching, Isaiah announces good news of God’s coming return to his people, Israel. At the time of God’s return and restoration of Israel the blind will see, the deaf will hear, and the lame will walk (Isaiah 35:4-6).

Frederick Buechner