FRIDAY 24th APRIL
Every morning I come down to the office and switch on the computer.
I am always conscious when I sit down of a wall hanging to my right. It is a tapestry which in words and pictures tells of the Fruit of the Spirit. You will all know that.................
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;”
I am going to be reflecting on each of the elements which come with the spirit filled life, over the next few days.
I will look at love on Sunday, but today, I want to think about JOY.
The psalmist said, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord”
Whenever I read or speak these words I am reminded of wee Finlay who just loved to come to church. Around the age of 4 years old he got a drum kit for Christmas, and something wonderful was birthed in him.
He so wanted to bring his drum kit to worship on Sunday mornings, but it did not happen............so Finlay improvised.
Each Sunday when he came into church he went to the bookcase which held the hymn books. He chose very carefully 2 CH4’s ,2 Mission Praise, and 4 Songs of God’s People, which he laid out on the front book rest of his pew.
Then, he went to the art corner where he chose various pens and pencils, and returned to his pew. He would then sit “poised” waiting for the first hymn to begin, when he would launch into frenzied ,joyful drumming!!
The first few weeks he did it, there were one or two raised eyebrows from those sitting closest to him, but after a while everyone just accepted this was part of his worship.
One Sunday the then, Moderator of the Church of Scotland, The Right Reverend David Arnott paid a visit. There was a great sense of excitement in the congregation that morning, and we had decided to make a video of the service.
All was ready and the service was about to begin and I looked over to Finlay and noticed that he had added to his drum kit with more hymn books and cutlery from the kitchen.
The first hymn was duly announced, “Immortal, Invisible, God only wise” and I held my breath.........as Finlay began to worship God, drumming for all he was worth.
His wee face was a picture of pure joy......................and his joy became our joy, and I am sure the angels in heaven were dancing that morning.
When we played back the video, two things struck me, one was the Moderator's face as Finlay started up, the other was that I could not hear anyone singing, all I could hear was the drumming!
One of the greatest marks of the Christian life is JOY. It is something that comes from a place deep within, welling and bursting forth.
I was out walking the other day, pondering all that has happened these last few weeks in our world..............realizing that life is now forever changed..................and wondering how we will adjust to this new way of being.
I stopped to look at the view down the valley, and there on the fence post beside me came and perched a blackbird, which began to whistle for all it was worth.
I felt JOY rising up within me......remembering the words of the hymn Morning has Broken, which I sang all the way home.
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word
I pray that the Lord will visit you with his JOY this day.