Sunday, December 20, 2009

Joy to the World

When I was a sophomore in college, there was a period of time when I was preoccupied by the concept of joy, probably because I was not terribly happy, not to mention joyous. Yet according to the scriptures, one of my purposes for being was and is joy.

I was reminded of this during the past couple of weeks, first, because it's Christmas, a time when we all dust off the word "joy," which hardly gets used the other 11 months of the year. We display it in our homes and even sing about it.

Second, I was reminded of it when I was reading my scriptures--Alma 26, where Ammon talks to his brothers about his joy. As I read this chapter, I can almost feel Ammon's joy seep out through the verses: Ammon rejoices, his "heart is brim with joy" (11), his "joy is full" (16), and his "joy is carried away" (35). All this from a man who has been mocked, cast out, stoned, hit, bound and put into prison.

Why the joy, then? Ammon tells us that it is because of the goodness, the mercy, the glory of God to us, who desperately need Him in our "awful, sinful and polluted state" (17) and because God is mindful of all people. In the end, then, it seems to me that Ammon's deep gratitude toward and praise of God is the catalyst for his feeling this depth of joy.

So I don't really know how to end this post--I didn't mean to be preachy. This connection between gratitude and joy is just something I've been thinking about. Given this connection, it seems fitting that Thanksgiving and Christmas are close together. I guess I'll end by saying that I'm glad we have this Christmas time and the music of the season which gives us the opportunity to sing our praises daily. Joy to the world is exactly right.

1 comment:

mwells said...

Thanks - I needed that!