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Joy & Sadness: A Counter-Intuitive Juxtaposition

In every day life, our celebrations don’t usually intersect with our sad times. By the same token, our sad times aren’t typically our times of celebration. When we’re sad, we don’t really feel like celebrating. The opposite is also true; when we’re celebrating, we don’t want our good spirits dampened by sadness. We try our best to keep our sadness and our celebration separate. It just makes life less complicated.

But Jesus has called us to be a sadly celebratory community, and a celebratory sad community. Why is this true? It’s because Jesus calls us to a life of uncompromising honesty and a life of unchallenged hope. If we’re honest – really honest – then we’re going to be sad. Why? Because we can’t be honest without recognizing the horrible legacy of damage that sin has left on each of us and everything around us.

Sin damages. It damages relationships and it damages our environment. Nothing we’ll ever experience, this side of eternity, is untouched by sin. When we’re really honest about how broken the world actually is, we can’t avoid a deep sadness.

Yet we’re not just called to be people of honesty, we’re called to be people of hope, as well. When we begin to consider how magnificent God’s love really is, when we begin to understand how powerful His grace is, and when we begin to realize that God is right now exercising both His love and His grace so that this world would be fully and completely restored, we can’t help but celebrate. This is God, who is the ultimate definition of love and wisdom and won’t leave the surrounding world and us alone until it and we are fully and completely restored to what we were meant to be in the beginning.

So we should be the saddest and most celebratory community on earth. And we should be sad and celebratory at the very same time. We’re sad because we know how bad things actually are and we celebrate because we know that the help that Jesus offers us reaches to the deepest level of our need.

Are you sad at the condition of your world? Does your sadness dance with your celebration because you also know how great God’s life-transforming grace actually is? When you look honestly at your world, have you remembered that God won’t quit or rest until He’s made all things new?

May both celebration and sadness dance in your heart to the rhythm of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and may you weep with joy and celebrate with sadness until He makes all things new once again.

Blessings!

          Kevin

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