Just Add Joy!

“…we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.” - 2 Corinthians 1:24b

Dear Friends, Just add joy. Back in the 50’s when instant everything was becoming all the rage, food scientists were coming up with ingenious ways to make everything easier, but especially cakes. The modern cake mix was born… but it flopped. Despite all the hype and all the marketing, housewives (and I’m guessing a few husbands) wouldn’t buy in. What they soon decided is that these instant cake mixes, despite tasting just as good as the homemade variety, and taking MUCH less time, were… TOO EASY! “Just add water” made people feel like they weren’t doing enough. So manufacturers adjusted the ingredient list - an egg, a tablespoon of oil… and some water. And all of the sudden, instant cakes caught on. I think our lives can be a little like this. There’s something in our DNA that makes us want to struggle and strive, that we feel more of a sense of accomplishment when we’ve worked hard for something, instead of having it handed to us on a silver platter. We appreciate it more. But… There are some drawbacks. There are situations where more work and more effort actually create more problems. Our salvation is one of those areas. It’s not by our work at all that we are saved - it’s by the gracious act of our Loving Father. We might want to feel like we have some part of it, but we don’t. All we’re invited to do is receive it. Even though we don’t see God face-to-face, we’re invited to receive God’s gift of love, shown perfectly in Jesus. That’s called faith. And there’s another area where our added work can actually cause more problems - other people. If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to see the problem in the way your kid is doing their homework, your spouse is cooking a meal, or your colleague is completing their assignment. You see the flaw in them… and you want to fix it. They don’t understand, so you try harder to explain. It goes nowhere, and now… you both feel miserable. When I do this, what I’m really doing is saying that “I don’t trust you and I don’t trust that God is at work in you… so I’m going to do it all myself.” But what if I told you, you’re putting an unnecessary egg and oil into a perfectly good cake… that really only needed a little smile, a little laughter, a little sprinkle of joy? Sunday’s sermon was all about Jesus’ surprising act at a wedding - turning water in to wine and extending the party. Jesus is the source of all life and joy, and I truly think that part of our calling as followers of Jesus is to add some joy to the lives of the people around us. So… how are you adding joy this week? I’d love to hear! Welcoming You to Grow in Jesus, as you add joy to whomever you’re with! Pastor Don

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