Joy is something you and I can partner with God to find on the daily. Does that sound appealing to you? Well, come on. Let’s go to the most famous wedding in history. Join me in John chapter two, beginning in verse one. The next day, there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration.
Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. I’m Erica, and I’m so happy you’re here. We’re going to a wedding today, but don’t worry if you’re not dressed up. It’s our first stop in the Bible, in our quest to find joy. What is joy? The dictionary says it’s a feeling of great pleasure or happiness, but so often you and I know it as something different, something that doesn’t depend on happiness. We know it as something deeper and more precious, less fleeting. But let’s take a hot second and ponder the dictionary’s take on joy. I remember watching my aunt get married to the love of her life. It left me in tears of joy. I could hardly read the Bible verse that she had selected for me to read in this ceremony. I could not stop crying. That’s how overjoyed I was. And then there was the time I saw a humpback whale that filled me with joy.
I was just in awe of God’s creation. But if you want to talk about pure joy, I remember feeling that when my nephew was just a few months old, and I would tickle his little belly and make him laugh, and I believe what I was feeling in those moments was pure joy. So it’s something you can feel. It’s something you can be filled with. And I’ve been thinking about this. I really believe joy is something you and I can partner with God to find on the daily. Does that sound appealing to you? Two? Well, come on. Let’s go to the most famous wedding in history. Join me in John chapter two, beginning in verse one. The next day, there was a wedding celebration in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration.
The wine supply ran out during the festivities. So Jesus’ mother told him, they have no more wine. Dear woman, that’s not our problem. Jesus replied, my time has not yet come. But his mother told the servants, do whatever he tells you. Standing nearby were six stone water jars used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold 20 to 30 gallons. Jesus told the servants, this is key. This is our takeaway verse. Fill the jars with water. When the jars had been filled, he said, now dip some out and take it to the master of ceremonies. So the servants followed his instructions. When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from, though of course the servants knew. He called the bride groom over. A host always serves the best wine first. He said, then when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now.
This miraculous sign at Cana and Galilee was the first time Jesus revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him. Maybe you’re thinking, okay, Erica, great story, but you never mentioned the word joy once. Right? Exactly. But there’s something I want you to see, something that I believe God put on my heart just a couple of days ago. Do you notice that Jesus didn’t just wave his hand and turn a bunch of jars of water into wine? He invited the servants to be part of the miracle. Remember that take away verse I pointed out Jesus told the servants in verse seven, fill the jars with water. See, I think you and I can partner with Jesus every day to make joy in our lives, to take our troubles and our complaints and all of the things going wrong, and turn them into grateful thoughts and feelings of joy.
How? By doing what Jesus asks us to do. Remember at the beginning of the story when his mother, Jesus’s mother, told the servants, do whatever he tells you. Well, what does Jesus tell us to do? He says, love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Forgive, as you have been forgiven. Love your enemies. All of this stuff is not easy, but Jesus knows it’s what’s best for us. Do whatever he tells you. I believe if we do the things Jesus tells us to do, because he knows they’ll make us feel good in the long run and bring joy that lasts and isn’t fleeting, we will be filled with joy just as those jars were filled with wine. All right. Until next time, you are loved.
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