Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The joyful God

Previous in this series: The humility of God
Another attribute of God that we often miss is his joyfulness. When we take Jesus' words to heart, "He who has seen me has seen the father," that opens us up to different ways of understanding the mind of God.

When the Bible shows us Jesus, we usually see him in the company of his friends. Time and time again, the Bible portrays him joining in festive occasions such as dinners where guests are invited. He surprised his disciples by taking small children into his arms. When he was asked why his disciples did not fast, Jesus invoked the Jewish custom of not fasting during times of celebration; he said that being with him was like being with the bridegroom at a wedding. Being with him was a festive occasion. Jesus describes the kingdom of God as being like a wedding feast. And he performed his first public miracle by providing wine for a wedding feast. Jesus was joyful, time and again he was joyful. If seeing Jesus is seeing God, then we might need to rethink how we see God.

In the parable of the prodigal son, he portrays a father - that is, God - celebrating gladly when his lost son came home.

So a sour, dour approach to life is actually ungodly. The God who has called us and welcomes us home is a joyful God.

3 comments:

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

Interesting and hopeful observation. Thanks.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks! Be joyful!

Weekend Fisher said...

I've been trying to wrap my mind around God's joyfulness. It's a lot to consider. But it's a glad thing to ponder.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF