This week’s key Advent word is “Joy.” Handy, then, that we had the grandchildren all weekend. Happy is one thing, “joyful” is another. These kids do joy.
What I’m offering in this Monday morning post is accessible joy to get your week off to a great start. There is something called “child-like belief” I think we can all learn from. It’s not the same as childishness and it is not naiveté.
Here’s an example of what I’m talking about: Not too long ago some preacher – he was one of those patronizing “I’m so much more experienced and wiser than you” types – told Rebekah that her approach to ministry (her optimism and her positive, encouraging, all-things-are-possible-in-Jesus approach) was “naïve”.
Her response was pitch-perfect: “After all these years in ministry (around 35), seeing God’s hand at work in three amazing congregations, I don’t think naïve is the right word. The word you’re looking for is ‘believe’. I believe!”
We talked about this in my Sunday-school class. Believing isn’t an act of will, it is a choice of the heart. Belief is a powerful choice because it engages spiritual resources naïveté is unacquainted with.
It is my observation that children tend to access these resources more naturally than adults, and in consequence they are more familiar with real joy. But don’t for a moment think such belief is lost to us – in Jesus God has opened the door for us all, and Christmas provides a ready invitation for us to enter in.
Enjoy these images of joy from our weekend. And take some time to redirect your possibly rusty, or tired, or cynical approach to faith. You will be glad that you did
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.