My wife and I visited a church in another city not long ago. As we were returning home, she asked, “Did you notice anything unusual about the people in that church?” I couldn’t say that I had. So she explained, “No one was smiling.” As I thought about it, I agreed. A tone of rather grim seriousness pervaded the music and message. Even the foyer afterward was unusually quiet.
This experience reminded me of a newspaper column written by Erma Bombeck a few years ago. She told of sitting in church a few rows behind a little boy and his mother. He was looking over the back of the pew and smiling at everyone behind him. And they were smiling back. Suddenly his mother realized what he was doing. She turned his head around and whispered in a voice everyone could hear, “Stop that grinning. You’re in church!”
If any people ever had a right to be joyful, it’s believers in Christ (1 Pet. 1:3-8). He died for us, forgave our sin, sent us the Holy Spirit, and walks with us daily. Whenever we get together, we ought to be rejoicing in those truths.
If we’re experiencing day by day the grace of Jesus, we have every reason to be smiling—especially in church. “Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous!” (Ps. 33:1).
O God, we thank You for the peace
And happiness You give,
Because we've trusted in Your Son
Who died so we could live. —Sper
Joy comes from the Lord who lives within us, not from what's happening around us.