Dear Church...




The autobiography of CS Lewis is a book entitled 'Surprised by Joy'.  As a  title it has at least one double meaning to it. The main one would probably be the surprise of CS Lewis at the God given joy that followed his conversion to Christianity. He always referred to himself as having been a reluctant convert. But the title is also a possible reflection on the fact that he had been a confirmed bachelor until, late in life, he met, fell in love with and married a lady named Joy Davidman.  Their relationship was a source of great joy in his life. 


Rich Wagner in his book 'The Myth of Happiness' compares happiness with joy showing them to be two distinctly different things. He writes...


'Happiness is all about the here and now. Biblical joy is rooted in eternity.


Time is the archenemy of happiness, but it is joy’s best friend


By its nature, happiness is impatient. Joy, on the other hand,

can afford to wait. It knows it has eternity to enjoy.

Happiness depends on circumstances, but joy is

independent of anything that happens to us.


Happiness seeks temporary peace with us, but joy

embraces lasting peace with Jesus Christ'


C. S. Lewis himself wrote, ‘Joy is never in our power and pleasure often is. That’s why, in pursuing happiness, I easily get defensive and bent on protecting the things in my life that make me happy. If Christ leads me away from this end, then I can instinctively become close-minded to His plans. Biblical joy, by contrast, is open to God’s will, even when that call takes me down unhappy roads and gloomy alleyways’


So, maybe a 'Happy' New Year isn't such a great thing to wish each other as we enter 2021?!  May we all have a year filled with purpose, inspiration, joy and an increasingly greater appreciation of God and the amazing life that He has given to us in Christ.  May His kingdom come and His will be done in 2021.

Love and blessings,

Steve & Pauline - January  2021  

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