Sometimes what we’re doing in worship just doesn’t mesh with what’s going on in the world….like celebrating Joy Sunday when the nation is grieving the loss of 20 school children and six people who cared for them….like “singing glory to the newborn king” when funeral masses soon will be sung for children. How are we supposed worship today when such a horrific thing happened on Friday? Surely God would give us a pass on Joy Sunday this year.
Because I believe that God stands with us wherever we are on life’s journey, I do believe God would give us a pass on celebrating joy today. And if you’re having trouble finding joy this morning, that’s okay. God stands with you wherever you are.
As I’ve watched and read news reports, though, as I’ve tried to wrap my heart around what’s been happening in Connecticut since Friday….I’m wondering if celebrating joy might be just the thing to do. After all, God didn’t come into the world to bring joy to the joyful….God came into the world to heal the brokenhearted and to guide them–in their own time–to a place of wholeness and, yes, deep joy.
And so today, as we celebrate the child who is to come, as we delight in the children who are here in our midst, yes, even as our hearts break for a grieving community in Connecticut, I invite us all to keep joy alive, to hold the joy for those who might not feel it for a very long time. As we sing, as we listen, as we celebrate, let us remember that God came to dwell with us that we might have life, that we might be whole, that we might–eventually–feel joy.