I had to go out for a walk in the rain with the girls this week, and so our youngest was desperate to go out in her wellies – which she did. She walked through each puddle and watched the water rise up around her toes. As she jumped and splashed her smile was oen of those smiles that beam with joy from cheek to cheek.
Seeing her joy at what before that moment had been to me a mundane and slightly frustrating task – having to go out in the rain – brought me up short. She found joy were I had seen only wet, grey and mundane. But in that moment, through her joyful splashing in puddles, I had been splashed with joy too.
What we do, and how we live impacts others. It’s the way God made us, it is our human nature to be relational, connected beings.
But God has also made each of us unique, and it is through that uniqueness that I believe God has place in each of us a uniqueness and blessing that only we can bring to the world.
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with yourfaith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
Romans 12:6-8, NIVUK
So whoever you are, whatever your gifts and passions and skills, use them, and splash with them – because through you, God will bless others too.
What has given you joy this year? What is giving you joy today?
This week I had a bit of an interrupted week, because the car broken down while doing shuttle runs for Bognor Foodbank. It was about 1:30, I called the RAC and they said 90mins to 3-4hours.
Louise was working til about 5, so I thought I didn’t have much option but to wait, the car was on double yellows, and wouldn’t be easy to move, and I’m no mechanic, I had no clue what the problem was.
Well, 90 mins came and went. 3 hours came and went. 4 hours came and went.
Every 30 minutes or so I would get a text saying, we’re on the way, sorry for the delay, we’ll be in touch within the next half hour… It was hard to keep waiting and waiting….
By the time it had been 5 hours, I called again, they couldn’t tell me how long it would be, and said they’d escalated the breakdown and someone would be in touch shortly.
This few hours of waiting reminded me of the thread of God’s story and love for the world we find in the Bible. The Bible is filled with promises that God is faithful to us, loves us, cares for us.
Well by 7:30 my rescuer, the recovery truck, still hadn’t turned up and I was starting to get a bit hopeless. I’d called a number of times and they couldn’t give me an ETA, I was starting to get quite cold, and my phone battery was on 8%. I realised I had jump leads in the boot and thought maybe it’s worth trying to jump start the car to see if it is the battery.
At which moment, a friend pulls up – totally unexpectedly – we wire the cars up, they gave me a jump – the car starts – and then they followed me home.
My waiting was finally interrupted by Joy – in a way I didn’t expect!
I wish now I’d look for the jump leads earlier, I wish now I’d taken more action, I wish now I realised I had the tools I needed to journey onwards, and journey home. But I kept sitting and waiting, because ‘it’ll just be another 30 minutes.’
I talked last week about John the Baptist who was a cousin of Jesus, who God called to prepare the way for Jesus to arrive. John kept telling people the promised one was coming, but the people had been waiting for so many years, they’d got so used to life in the waiting, some were losing hope, others started thinking John was the coming one.
No-one seemed ready for God’s promises to come true in the way they did.
Jesus came to earth, interrupted the world, in such an unexpected way – as a little, vulnerable baby – to rescue us, to show God’s faithfulness to us. To journey with us. To give us joy.
So don’t be like me, don’t keep waiting thinking rescue is coming. Jesus has already interrupted the world. Friends Jesus is here, Jesus has rescued us. And Jesus is with us, journeying with us, and that wonderful truth, gives us joy.
May your life be interrupted… by joy.
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord! Unnumbered blessings, give my spirit voice; tender to me the promise of his word; in God my Saviour shall my heart rejoice.
 Words of Timothy Dudley Smith, based on the Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55