Daily reading: 10 November
Fruitful Christian living.
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
- John 15, 10-11 New Revised Standard Version. Click here to read the King James Version
At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month we will stop and remember. We will remember the dead of the two world wars of the last century.
We will remember the dead of more recent conflicts, and those who live with their injuries, physical, mental and emotional. As we remember we will pray for peace.
So perhaps it seems strange to read a verse about joy on this day. Yet talk with a soldier, or a community in conflict, about what they long for and the intended outcome – peace, and the joy that comes with it.
Joy is Christ’s longing for his people – not just brief moments of happiness or elation but ‘complete joy’. Later the apostle Paul will rejoice while chained up in prison, and encourage Christians who are suffering to rejoice.
This only makes sense because of the abiding presence of God with us in all circumstances. It only makes sense because of the perseverance of God’s love and presence with us in all and every circumstance.
I have had the privilege of seeing it demonstrated in the lives of some of the poorest. All their circumstances cried out against being ‘joyful’ and yet there was a depth of joy in God’s love and presence.
I have got a lot to learn about joy. I think we all have.
In remembering today, let us also spread God’s joy.
Smile a lot at people today. Spread some joy in the world.
Father, remembering pain, sacrifice, death is hard and sad. Yet somehow you bring joy in the midst of it all. Help us today to bring your joy. Amen.
Today’s contributor is the Rt Rev Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham, who previously served as the Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham.
Published on 10 November 2017