I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Joy

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In every dimension the liturgy means joy. . . .

Joy is lively. Joy is active. When we rejoice, we don’t mumble or mutter. We shout and sing at the top of our lungs. When we rejoice, we move, clap, sway, dance. Joy doesn’t belong down down down down in my heart. Joy grips my body, my tongue and hands and feet. Clothed in the Spirit, my body rejoices. What should liturgy look like? Don’t think grim and proper Presbyterians. Think African Anglicans. Think Brazilian charismatics. Don’t quench the Spirit. Don’t bottle up the joy. . . .

Dismissed from the liturgy, we go out in joy—to find joy in pots and pans, trees and flowers, mountains and sunsets, sleek cars and powerful smart phones, joy in a husband or a wife, children or siblings, friends and neighbors. We find joy in all God’s gifts, which means we find joy in everything because we have nothing we have not received (1 Cor 4:7).

We cannot find joy in abusing his gifts. There’s joy in sex, but no joy in adultery. There’s joy in a family feast, but no joy in a house full of bickering, back-biting, and strife. There’s joy in material goods, but no joy in greed or a life devoted to Mammon. . . .

We enter with joy, receive forgiveness with joy, ascend with joy, hear with joy, feast with joy, depart in joy. The liturgy welcomes the sad, sad world and leads it to the joy of God. The liturgy confronts the false and fruitless joys of the world and reorients them to the One in whom there is fullness of joy. Cultures always aim at joy but miss their target. Over decades and centuries, the liturgy redeems culture by redirecting its quest for bliss. Liturgy redeems because it’s a culture of joy.

Peter Leithart, Theopolitan Liturgy, 106-109

Written by Scott Moonen

January 25, 2020 at 9:20 am

Posted in Quotations, Worship

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