Captivated with joy.
You can listen to today’s devotion by clicking on this SoundCloud link.
Meet Grant and Roosevelt, two Grizzly bears who make their home at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Montana. When I visited, they were the most active Grizzlies in the small pond created for the bears. Unfortunately, the reason Grant and Roosevelt are at the center is because their mother was connected to two fatalities in Yellowstone and had to be euthanized. Yet, they’ve adapted well to their home and put on a show for visitors as they wrestle with each other.
It looks like they would kill each other with their large teeth and claws, but neither is damaged in their romping.
“Shout out praises to the LORD, all the earth! Break out in a joyful shout and sing!”
Psalm 98:4 New English Translation
The composer of Psalm 98 relishes God’s love and faithfulness to his people. Not only are his covenant people to shout for joy, both the people who inhabit the earth and all of creation itself is to join in this praise.
God’s salvation, which is at work in our lives, is a reason to rejoice. People will notice the community of God’s redeemed when we rejoice over his love and faithfulness to us.
There were a number of Grizzly bears frolicking in the early afternoon sun when I visited, but Grant and Roosevelt stole the show. There was a boundless energy to their play. Grant would dunk Roosevelt only to have Roosevelt return the favor. Water was splashing out of the pool. Crows were getting wet. Other bears were inadvertently trapped in their play. You couldn’t help but laugh as they played.
There is something contagious about joy. Though there are times that we might not want to be around joy-filled people, joy will eventually win the day.
Gracious God fill your church with joy, that this joy might attract others and bring them into an experience of your love and faithfulness.
Copyright Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado