December 11, 2007

Darkness and Joy

The scripture for next Sunday begins with John the Baptist sitting in his prison cell. Maybe I'm too much of a movie fan (we've already purchased Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), but for days now I've been carrying around with me the image of that lonely prison fortress, it's distant, remote location east of the Dead Sea, and the darkness of John's prison cell. Hmm, I'm sure I can get a nice Advent sermon out of that...

Last night Ginger and I began packing in earnest for our move, which is two weeks away. I started in my office, packing all my books and other office items. Even then, the image of John the Baptist--sitting in his prison cell, wondering where the hope was, desperately wishing for some light to shine into his life--came to me. Where is the light? Where is the joy?

Well, I saw a little light when, last Sunday, I was told that the church is planning a going-away luncheon for me and my family. And I do experience joy when I think of being able to spend more time with family, especially my Dad, in whose house we'll be living for the next ... month? two months? He has let me know how excited he is to have us, and I must confess I'm a little excited that, for a semester at least, my sons will be going to the same elementary school I attended.

The boys were watching an episode of VeggieTales the other day, and I was in the other room pondering John & next Sunday's sermon, the sermon for the 3rd Sunday of Advent, the Sunday of joy. I admit, I wasn't feeling very joyful. But then I overheard Bob the Tomato say something about how one doesn't have to be happy to be joyful; happiness comes and goes, but joy stays with you through all circumstances. I laughed, because he was right. And even though my worries are still with me, I am joyful.

self portrait

No comments: