Luke 10:21-24

At that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”

Joy is contagious.

After hearing of the joy and triumph of his disciples, Jesus can’t help but join in. First describing the impact of their triumph in the verses we read together yesterday, and now bursting spontaneously into a prayer of thanksgiving. Yes, joy is contagious.

Joy is of the Spirit.

Luke draws our attention to the fact that Jesus didn’t just rejoice; he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit. For many of us, the Holy Spirit is what is sometimes called the “shy” member of the Trinity. We’re not sure what to make of the Spirit. It seems elusive to us, hard to describe. But what if we imagined that each time we were caught up in shared joy – rejoicing in the blessings and triumphs of those around us – we were also caught up in the Holy Spirit? I think we might be able to name the Spirit’s presence in our lives more regularly and reliably and not only grow in our understanding of the Spirit but also grow in our experience of joy. Yes, joy is of the Spirit.

And joy is surprising.

Jesus gives God thanks that God would reveal the wonders of God’s mercy and the pattern of God’s love not to the strong or wise, but to the weak and ignorant. The God we meet in Jesus – the God of surprising grace and unbounded joy – almost always shows up just where we least expect God to be: in mercy rather than judgment, in weakness rather than strength, with the lowly rather than the mighty, and to restore and build up rather than condemn and tear down. Yes, joy – the joy of the God we know in Jesus – is surprising.

Contagious, of the spirit, and always surprising. This is the joy that Jesus invites us to. May we accept with gratitude.

Prayer: Dear God, give us eyes this day to see and feel joy that is contagious, Spirit-filled, and surprising that we may share it with all those around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.