A daily devotion based on Galatians 5:22-23
22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
It’s a smile on a face. It’s a smile that is actually found deep down inside and then bubbles up from within and spills over into our lives. And Paul claims that it is a fruit of the Spirit of God.
In Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge can’t help but smile and laugh as the joy of Christmas has finally found its home in his once-closed heart. As when the Spirit of God finds a home within us, there are times when we are so appreciative of all that God has given us that we can’t help but respond with joy.
Presbyterian pastor and author Frederick Buechner has a book of definitions of theological terms. When he comes to the word “joy” he references John 15:11, where Jesus tells his disciples “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” Buechner goes on to comment by saying: “Happiness turns up more or less where you’d expect it to – a good marriage, a rewarding job, a pleasant vacation. Joy, on the other hand, is as notoriously unpredictable as the one who bequeaths it.” (Wishful Thinking)
When the Spirit is upon us or within us, joy finds its way to the surface. Enjoy the unpredictable eruptions of joy.
Ever-giving God, you bless us with your love, grace, and mercy again and again. Help us to revel in the joy that we find in the fact that you keep finding us. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen