Friends,

Many years ago, I was told of a student who was once convinced the principal of her elementary school went to heaven every night because he was so happy every day.  I have been reflecting on the wisdom from the words of this student first shared with me all those years ago which is the source that prompted this reflection.  Let us take it even deeper, consider this:  the very heart of the Christian walk involves leaning and living into the remarkable Joy of Jesus. 

David Jeremiah once said, “Happiness depends on happenings; but joy depends on Jesus. Throughout the Gospels, we are reminded of the source of joy, but John’s Gospel illuminates even more insight into the joy available to us through Jesus.  Consider John 15:9-11, “As the father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my father’s commands and remain in his love.”  I have told you these things so that my JOY may be in you and that your JOY may be complete.

I imagine some of you are curious how the principal responded to the student.  He responded with the following: “Joy, he said, is the flag which is flown from the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there.” Jesus said, “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.” (John 17:13).

In a World, Nation, State and even our community still reeling within the aftermath of the Covid-19 setbacks, we at First UMC are on a JOURNEY to RECLAIM our JOY.   We are convinced CHURCH should be fertile with joy and filled with fun!  If you do not have a church that you call “home”, please consider joining us for worship Sunday morning at 11am as we look to the Living Word to claim the full measure of JOY available to each of us.  

Keep Smiling!

Taylor Coates, Pastor

First UMC Bennettsville

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