“The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14b)
Joy is not pleasure, not even happiness. When the pleasure runs its course we become even more thirsty, more desperate for the next fix. One has to wonder with C. S. Lewis whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy. The joy and contentment Christ offers to us is the result of our inner being having been transformed and our soul having been re-oriented. The Spirit of the Christ alive in us becomes the fountain of deep joy the world cannot give.
October 2nd was the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. There was a small gathering in front of the YWCA building that morning to dedicate the statue of Gandhi. Our own Deb Sawyer had been instrumental in bringing the statue to the heart of Salt Lake City. Becky Buxton sang with couple others a beautiful rendition of Dona Nobis Pacem. Simplicity, peace and joy converged. Among the people I met that morning was Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill, who is from India growing up in Hindu tradition. Sim and I talked about Gahdhi and his legacy of non-violence and his life dedicated to simple contemplative living. He talked about his father welcoming each day sitting quietly in prayer and meditation. We both had an upbringing surrounded by poverty yet we both experienced the joy of community that shared what little we had with each other. We agreed that what really gives meaning to life is not possession but grateful-ness and contentment; not accumulation but simplicity and sharing.
Here are quotes of Mahatma Gandhi and two other people with Indian connection:
Service which is rendered without joy helps neither the servant nor the served. But all other pleasures and possessions pale into nothingness before service which is rendered in a spirit of joy. (Mahatma Gandhi)
Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. (Mother Teresa)
I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. (Rabindranath Tagore)
November is Thanksgiving month. Through our corporate worship we will celebrate the Joy through Simplicity and Generosity. Especially November 3rd is the All Saints Sunday. Bring to worship something, anything, that will remind you of the ones in your life who have made your life richer and fuller. May he grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit and grant you joy.
Your servant in Christ,
Rev. Eun-sang Lee