Sing for Joy

On December 17, 2017, in Sunshine Cathedral, by Rev.Dr. Robert

Sing for Joy Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins Advent 3, 2017 Let us dwell together in peace and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; and now, may God’s word be spoken may only God’s word be heard. Amen. I feel like singing today. Songs of Advent. First a song of hope […]

Sing for Joy
Rev. Dr. Durrell Watkins
Advent 3, 2017

Let us dwell together in peace and let us not be instruments of our own or others’ oppression; and now, may God’s word be spoken may only God’s word be heard. Amen.

I feel like singing today. Songs of Advent.
First a song of hope ~
Sinatra:
[Just what makes that little old ant
Think he can move that rubber tree plant Anyone knows an ant, can't Move a rubber tree plant But he's got high hopes, he's got high hopes Hes got high apple pie, in the sky hopes So any time your gettin low Stead of lettin go Just remember that ant Oops there goes another rubber tree plant]

Secondly a song of peace ~
(Natalie Sleeth):
[Go now in peace, go now in peace
May the love of God surround you everywhere, everywhere you may go.]

And of course a song of joy ~
[I’ve got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart Down in my heart Down in my heart I’ve got the joy joy joy joy down in my heart Down in my heart to stay.]

Song of Mary:
My spirit rejoices!
Then more affirmations that if believed would have to inspire joy:
God has done great things.
God cares about every generation.
God is with us who want fairness.
God cares about the poor and oppressed.

It’s a song of joy because it recongizes the spiritual truth that isn’t always evident in the realm of sense perception.
God is love, but the world seems hateful sometimes.
God cares for the downtrodden, but people who claim to worship God keep oppressing and marginalizing others.
God has given strength, comfort and consolation time and again, and yet so much more is still needed.

Mary isn’t living a life of ease and privilege, but for a moment she sees with the eyes of faith; she sees into the realm of spirit where all is whole and joyful; perfect and fair; abundant and good.

The Prophet Isaiah tells us to share joy in the first reading…God anoints prophetic leaders to offer hope, to believe in healing possibilities, to comfort the hurting, the speak for the voiceless, to care about the downtrodden…to help people find and celebrate and share joy.
But you can’t share what you don’t have. So, Mary offers hope, consolation and promise to the downtrodden, but first she claims those gifts for herself. She finds reason to rejoice, then she expresses her joy, and then she affirms that joy is possible for others.
My soul magnifes the Lord who loves me and who loves everyone else as well.

Mary tells us
To claim joy
To focus on what is joyful
And that God’s omnipresence is reason enough for joy.

We are part and parcel of God (Emerson)
There’s not a spot where God is not
We say it until we believe it, and when we believe it we have joy, and if we have joy we have it to share.

Anxiety threatens joy…Affirm joy anyway. Sing a song of joy, like Mary did. Acknowledge God’s loving presence and affirm that God’s gift of joy is yours to embrace.

Nehemiah: The joy of the Lord is your strength.
Psalmist: A joyful heart is good medicine…
The Buddha: When the mind is pure joy flows like a shadow that never leaves.

Joy is more than contentment, pleasure, whimsy or fun…all of which are good, but joy is something that can happen when nothing is going right, joy is something that pops up when it makes the least sense but you need it the most. Joy is healing, joy gives strength, joy can happen in spite of and in the midst of suffering.

Happiness is when you get your way, but with joy, even if everything is terrible, still my soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my liberator, my helper, my healer, my source of unlimited supply. God has done good things and God has not retired.

God weeps when our hearts break and God encourages us at our deepest places when we need it the most. I cannot be separated from God; I am forever held in the love that God is. To know that is to joy.

I worked with a woman once who when things would go badly would immediately say, “Praise the Lord anyway.” Nothing could get her down…at least nothing could keep her down. If the worst life could throw at you gets a “praise the Lord anyway”…you’ll always bounce back.

Mary had an unplanned pregnancy, her fiancée almost left her, the future was uncertain but she found joy by basically saying, “Praise the Lord anyway!” My soul doth magnify the lord and my spirit rejoices.
That’s joy…the joy that comes from knowing there’s not a spot where God is not…even in the mess, God is there, so praise the Lord anyway.

Mary’s song of joy shows us the power of songs of joy. And so, as is my way, I share with you for the 11th time this song of joy:

(Gayla Peavy):
[I want a hippopotamus for xmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
Don’t want a doll, no dinky tinker toy i want a hippopotamus to play with an enjoy I want a hippopotamus for xmas I don’t think Santa Claus will mind do you He won’t have to use the dirty chimney flu just bring it through the front door that’s the easy thing to do I can see me now on xmas morning creeping down the stairs Oh what joy and what surprise when i open up my eyes and see a hippo hero standing there.
I want a hippopotamus for xmas
Only a hippopotamus will do
No crocodiles or rhinoceroses, i only like hippopotamuses And Hippopatmuses like me too, and hippopotamuses like me too!]

This is the day to claim your joy! And this is the good news! Amen.

Dear God,
Fill our lives with joy.
We receive it with gratitude.
And so it is!

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