The Upper Room devotional reflection for Wednesday, May 11, 2022 comes to us from Thomas Blanton of North Carolina
8 "Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn't she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9 And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' 10 In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15:8-10 NIV
“Share My Joy”
The woman in Jesus’ parable was so happy to find her lost coin that she had to tell her neighbors. I felt like I could relate to her joy. After I won custody of my children, I moved to a new town to start a new job doing what I loved. I wanted to celebrate my joy at this new beginning. As I began looking for a church home in my new town, however, every sermon I heard was about how Christ comforts us in our troubles and the church is there for us in our sorrows. I knew that, but I also wanted to hear the message that the church cared about my happiness. It was frustrating to want to share joy when all I encountered was sympathy. When one pastor happened to mention that God cares about our joy as well as our sorrows, I returned to that church.
There had been sad times before in my life and there have been others since then, but at the time, I needed to know that God and the church were rejoicing with me. I have resolved to be more sensitive to what is going on in others’ lives so that if someone is sad I can empathize; and if someone is happy, I can rejoice with them. When we pay attention to others’ feelings, we can build a community that is present and supportive in all circumstances. We all need to know we are not alone, no matter what.
I appreciate Thomas Blanton’s perspective. I do try to be present and supportive with people who are experiencing pain, difficulty, or sorrow. But, I do need to pay more deliberate attention with those who are experiencing a particular success or joy. Those who are joyous also benefit from support and companionship. Sharing joy can multiply the benefit it offers to the one who is joyous and those around them.
I invite you to consider what has brought you joy recently and share that experience with someone else.
Dear Lord, you have created us for each other. Help us to rejoice with those who are happy just as we weep with those who are sad. Amen.
Those Who are Experiencing Joy.
Thought for the Day:
How can I share in someone’s joy today?
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Romans 12:15 (NRSV)