In the traffic the other day, I saw a teenager riding his bike, doing a wheelie up a hill. I have to say it wasn’t what he was meant to be doing I am sure, and it didn’t look that safe. But what I noticed was the sheer joy and exhilaration on his face. He was so loving it!
In these days of pandemic, sometimes it feels as if everything is grey. It is round after round of changing regulations, new interpretations and constant adaptions. It is necessary but so wearisome.
God wants to bring us seasons of joy. The sheer excitement and enjoyment of that boy on the bike, reminded me of the enjoyment we seem to have lost as a society, and as a church. We are so worn down by uncertainty, fear and suffering and isolation.
A passage I keep going back to just now is Revelation chapter 2, where John writes to the church in Ephesus. He says they have worked hard and persevered, but he says in verse 4 that the one thing that he holds against them, is that they have forsaken their first love.
Maybe we remember how we felt when we first came to faith, our amazement at being loved by God, at being forgiven because of the cross, being accepted into God’s family. It is the kind of good news that you think will make you smile for a life time.
Yet over time that joy and thankfulness gets eroded by sadness, disappointment, suffering, conflict. At times, we just seem to be going through the motions, surviving each day, rather than living.
I think that God has something better for us. He wants us to come and sit with Him, to have our empty cups filled to overflowing with his healing love and grace, so that we are brought back to life, in all its richness and fullness, so we can have moments of rejoicing and joy. I think it can be a slow process, a time of questioning, of erratic moods and much processing. Yet we pray for God to bless His people once more, with that enthusiastic joy in the gospel, and that He would once more breathe new life into us. If only we could know a fraction of the exuberance of a boy on a bike!
Gracious God, forgive us that we become so burden and worn down by cares, that we can be in danger of becoming grey people, worried about many things. Lord Jesus, remind us of your life giving presence, lift our burdens from us, and put them at the foot of the cross. And then having relinquished all that holds us back, may we know the freedom of your spirit, so we might smile once again, so others might see Your life in us Amen.