By 

Joy


“Seriousness is not a fruit of the spirit but joy is.”

– Gareth Gilkeson, Rend Collective

Joy. I think we miss it. I cannot recall preachers teaching kids that joy is the heart of God. I cannot recall a sermon that tells of the joy of worship.

I watch the kids as they endure long hours of church services. I watch how their experiences of boredom translate in their minds to God-is-boring. How praising Jesus becomes a monotonous chore.

Where are the kids who love to sing the praises of the Lord?

This query beckons another: where are the people of God who teach these kids that joy is the heart of Jesus? Where are the joyous ones who will not only teach but also live a life of praise?

Where are those who will heed to this simple command?

“Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice.”

We justify our lives, we claim that the world is home to many thieves of joy. We live as if misery is our default, and praise becomes mere words, often a drag. But that is never the heart of God.

There is one truth, one truth that I ought to never forget:

Joy, it is a choice.

No person or circumstance can rob you of joy, for joy is a choice. To choose to rejoice despite the storm and despite the fierce stones.

Joy is a choice.

To come before Him in prayer and worship is to come before the Holy heart of God. To come before the Holy heart of God is to see the truth of Who He is and to leave with it imparted onto our souls. To come before the Holy heart of God is to sing with the Psalmist “in your Presence is fullness of joy.”

I observe a stern, seriousness in worship. The uptight, tight-fisted, legalistic worship.

Where is the joy that caused ancient heroes to dance and sing and shout for His wondrous Name?

Life should be a celebration of the goodness of God.

Heaven is celebration, where all tribes and all nations and all His loved ones celebrate before His holy throne in joy and adoration. That is the life we should be living now, heaven starts right here.

Ancient heroes played the lyre, sang songs, wrote poems and danced before the God of joy. There’s an art in celebration, where every soul brings before Him praise in various forms.

Who will teach our kids to be creative and find their spark? Who will tell the kids that we all find our own moments of pure, intimate joy with the Lord in diverse ways?

We will. We will be the people who know joy in His presence. We will be the painters, the writers, the singers, the dancers, the dreamers, the preachers, the poets, the cooks, the athletes and the producers who display the art of celebration.

For, eternity starts right here.

Heaven’s song is here.

Joy is here.

 

“The Blessed will say “We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven”

C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

“Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things;
 let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion,
 for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”

Isaiah 12:5-6

Makrina
About me

They call me Makrina (Greek for “makarios”) meaning to be blessed/happy, and I definitely think I am both! I grew up amongst rolling hills and sheep, in a small town in Scotland, but I’m currently living in London. If I’m not around, you’ll probably find me dancing on the red soil of Zambia, with a people who stole my heart, or on the other side of the Atlantic. I love to travel and meet new people (yes, I’m that girl who talks to you while you’re trying to sleep on a plane) I think humans are an incredibly beautiful work of art, like a piece of poetry waiting to be heard, learned from, cherished and loved. And like all art, there is a depth beneath the surface that I desire to see and know in every soul I meet.

I am obsessed with words, the power of the spoken word, the written word and even the unspoken word. Writing helps me explore the chaos of my own thoughts; it forces me to be vulnerable, making me face the truth without running. So I write to give a voice to all that is within me, and I share my words with hope that others may find their own voice too.

Sometimes it is the fear of what we may discover that cripples us from seeking to know the depth of our own heart, from finding our own voice. Because what if we discover darkness? Who will love that dark? And it is because of this fear that we hide our stories, not allowing ourselves to be known by others. But I met a love that boldly runs his gentle hands along the broken dark of my story, and calls me lovely still. It is this love that compels me to live fully: to relentlessly pursue the story of others so that in a world of fear and rejection, hearts may be known.

For I believe that to be known is to be loved.

Isaiah 61:1-3

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