Monday, April 4, 2016

Discipline of Joy

I have commented on my blog before about how my congregation sings Easter hymns all through the Easter season - every Sunday for seven weeks! Easter is just too important not to rejoice in it for all 50 days of the season. And I hope every congregation will do the same.

Dr. Gene Veith wrote about the Easter season on his blog this morning, using an interesting phrase: the discipline of joy. He wrote about our Lenten discipline, and how common that is, and that it lasts 40 days. But Easter is even greater, lasting 50 days, and is a season of joy in contrast to the solemnness of Lent. So, he says, with this we have a "discipline of joy" - rejoicing in Easter for a full 50 days, far beyond what counts as Easter for the world.

I like that. Discipline of joy. Being disciplined in our joy. We need that too, don't we? It reminds me of one of the prayers in the Great Litany, when we pray for God's mercy "in all time of our tribulation, in all time of our prosperity." Maybe during our times of prosperity we need His mercy even more, for how easy to fall away, take for granted, and forget during those times. So too we need the discipline of joy - to teach us the true joy of Easter that we have in Christ, that lasts far longer than sorrow, for the joy of Christ that we have now will truly have no end!

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