Complete Joy in the midst of a Pandemic.
In John 15:9-13 Jesus promises us complete joy, or the full measure of joy. But for many of us we would say that we aren’t living in the reality of complete joy. Then on tip of that add the circumstances of the a global pandemic and joy seems even more fleeting.
So how do we walk in this complete joy?
Jesus gives us two keys to walking in the fullness of His joy. First, remain in His love. In the story right before this one in John Jesus tells us the parable of the vine and the branches, just like a branch must remain in the vine, so we must remain in His love.
The second key
Is to love others as our selves. Jesus says we remain in His love by obeying His commands. But here in this context He only gives one of His commands and that is to love others. So the full measure of His joy that we seek is tied up in how we love others. Jesus then ends this section by also inviting into sacrificial love. Just as Jesus became a sacrifice He invites us into a sacrificial level of love towards others, for the sake of Joy. The Joy of the Lord will respond to our acts of sacrificial love.
There are also many things that will attack our joy and try to steal it. We must be mindful of these as well.
But in this pandemic world we live in there are plenty of opportunities to love others, but there may now be increased sacrifice need. Loving others well on our world now can even be as simple as how we speak to and about others. Or, it can be as sacrificial as serving those who are sick and infected. But complete and full joy will also follow.