Light one candle for joy, one bright candle for joy.
He brings joy to every heart. He comes! He comes!
The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
and rejoice with joy and singing. Isa 35: 1-2a
I have learned not to mix up joy with happiness and I am suspicious of anyone whose joy seems forced. Isaiah tells us the desert will rejoice with joy and singing and that the trees will clap their hands – though we can tell the joy is forced when we try to get congregations to clap theirs when they sing it! Paul helps me understand joy when he writes from prison to the Philippians ‘Rejoice in the Lord!’ and about a joy that bubbles slowly from the very depths of the soul, whatever our circumstances. This is a joy that comes from God and is not about being carried away with blissful happiness, but is a joy that is strengthened and deepened through our love for God and one another.
i thank You God for this most amazing day
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any – lifted from the no
of all nothing – human merely being
doubt unimaginable you?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
e e cummings