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Lucy's sabbatical musings: joy

Posted by Lucy Moore on 30 Apr 2015

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Here's another thought about another element of our Messy Church character: joy!

Joy – this is an undervalued virtue and strength because it is so unassuming and so unglamorous: happy people are less impressive than tragic ones: Rosalind is less imposing than King Lear. Yet the joy, fun, celebratory nature, creativity, happiness, lightheartedness, lightness, humour, cheekiness, ‘refusal to take itself too seriously’ and childlikeness of Messy Church is profoundly needed in a solemn, anxious, beleaguered, depressed Church. Joy is part of our prophetic nature and role. It is also a reflection of who God is and of the freedom of life in Christ. Properly seen, joy is an amazing virtue because we can only be truly joyful with integrity if we have a full awareness of how much Christ has suffered for us. Joy is a powerful force for good and we should never be ashamed of or belittle Messy Church’s capacity to bring joy to teams, churches and families. It is a brightly coloured key. Laughter does open the door to heaven. God  knows that laughter (as well as tears) is a sacrificial offering. Things that kill joy include criticism, disunity, burnout, lack of reward or encouragement. Linked to joy are gratitude, kindness, patience, positivity, gentleness, generosity, relaxedness, purpose, simplicity, service. We can do this!

Incidentally the little girl in the picture was helping make the junk angel to celebrate Easter, when she realised she too was covered with sparkles and glitter. She instantly jumped up and down in complete ecstasy, chanting, 'I'm an ANGEL! I'm an ANGEL!' bringing smiles to the faces of everyone around her.