Sunday, October 18, 2015

Notify Your Face

The following story has been around in various forms for many years, but it seem like a good thought for today. So here we go...

A preacher stood in the pulpit on a Sunday morning and faced his congregation. He welcomed them with words from Psalm 100- "Make a joyful noise to the LORD!" He told them that his heart was FULL of joy as he stood before them, so happy to be in God's house of worship. He told them that a life spent following Christ was a life filled with joy, now and for all eternity. He quoted scripture, reminding them that even in their giving they were called to be joyful. The entire time he was speaking, his face was somber and his voice was unemotional. He delivered those words of joy with the countenance of someone suffering from acid reflux. He finished by saying to the gathered crowd that anytime he was in the presence of God, his heart was filled with great joy and happiness. With that, one of his more vocal parishioners could not take it any longer. She rose to her feet and shouted for all to hear,"Well if your heart is so full of joy, could it PLEASE notify your face!"

Too many times the world sees the face of Christianity as one of somber piety. The impression we give is that God is a great cosmic killjoy, and that following Jesus is really hard and sucks the joy out of life. Following Jesus IS hard...but it gives joy, it doesn't take it away! Far too often we Christ-followers tell the world that we doing okay under the circumstances. What are we doing under any circumstances? Jesus went to the cross and rose from the dead so that we might live ABOVE the often depressing details of life.  The Bible's letter of joy, the book of Philippians, was written by Paul while he was in jail! Believing in and following Jesus means that we are "more than conquerors"- no matter the situation! So today, as you go through your paces and face a world that often beats us down, remember- we worship a God of joy and love. Feel that in your heart, know it in your mind- and don't forget to notify your face!!!  SMILE- Jesus loves you! And the world needs to know...

Because of Jesus,

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