Wednesday Word: Joy
I'm sure this isn't the topic you expected on the first day of Lent; but then, this wasn't what I had anticipated writing about.
“Joy” is derived from Middle English, French, and Latin. It also has roots in Old English. The meanings are defined as: to be glad, rejoice, hope, delight, glee, and bliss. For such a small word, Joy has some very large meanings.
Theologian Frederick Buechner is quoted as saying, “Your vocation in life is where your greatest joy meets the world's greatest need.”
I receive news articles of a religious nature from the Episcopal News Service (ENS). They cover a lot that goes on in the church, some of it informative and some of it boring. Recently they began posting links to churches that are looking for a new priest. One reason for this, I think, is that it expands the pool of potential candidates to people who may not have updated their personal portfolio or who might need an extra push to see if they just may be called elsewhere.
While reading an ENS article last week I noticed that there was a link to a church in Wyoming. It's in a little town of about 2000 people roughly 80 miles from Jackson Hole, has several outreach programs, and offers a variety of worship opportunities, among other things. It's also in the mountains.
As I was looking at what this parish initially said about themselves, it occurred to me that it was exactly two years ago, February of 2016, when I first saw the profile for St. John's. And while it was nice to look at Saint Whats-Its-Name-in-the-Rocky-Mountains, it was equally nice to remember back to the time when I said to Joelene, “Hey, this looks like a good place; what do you think?”
So while the world's greatest need may not be centered in Hagerstown, it is most certainly true that I derive a great amount of joy from this place and from those who are part of it. Thank you for bringing joy back into my life.
So on this first day of Lent, here's to the joy, in all its forms and definitions, that St. John's generates.