Spotlight 02: Discovering joy for ourselves
From “Labour in love” to “Joy in Christ”: District Apostle Rüdiger Krause from Northern Germany links last year’s motto with this year’s motto. He continues our series on impulses from the District Apostles and sets out on a quest for joy.
Last year, the beautiful motto “Labour in love” saw us through the year. It accompanied and guided us also in critical phases. For 2015, the Chief Apostle has published a new motto: “Joy in Christ!” It made me think of John 15: 11: “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Love creates joy
In the preceding verse, Jesus speaks about the commandment of love and urges the disciples to continue in this: “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15: 10). So there is a beautiful connection between the old motto and the new one: Those who keep God’s commandments out of love will ultimately remain in the joy of the Lord and thus manage to achieve perfect joy. All we have to do now is take the old motto into the new year with us.
It was because Abraham followed God’s command to leave his people and his friends that he was able to experience the blessing of the Most High. Jacob too, followed the advice of God to reconcile with his brother, Esau. The two reconciled and great joy entered the hearts of the two brothers. The Apostles followed Jesus’ command and stayed together and were thus able to experience the great joy at Pentecost. When we apply the double commandment of love given by Jesus, we experience the joy that is connected to actively contributing to a congregation that is blessed by God.
Take a close look and see …
Apostle Paul’s exhortation to the Philippians to rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4: 4) is an encouragement for us to take a close look and find reasons for joy. The many little gestures and the services that are rendered, the countless prayers and sacrifices, and the faith and the active help of many in the congregations are a source of joy for us. Let us keep our eyes open as we go through the new year. We will find many things that will make us glad and joyful. My resolution for 2015: to have even more joy in Christ and to carry on with labours of love.