10 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. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. (John 15:10-11 (NRSV))
Joy has not been my companion for many years. I seek joy and I seem to only find sorrow. Peace has returned to my life; hope blooms; but joy has been elusive. I see joy around me. I see joy in the look of a parent observing his/her child. That is a joy I understand. It is a joy that bursts through the moments of disappointment, disapproval, and distress. When I look at my son, I am filled with joy. But my joy has not been complete, it is fleeting; a fickle companion.
Jesus’ words to his disciples remind me that when we abide in God’s love by loving God and neighbor, we bring joy to God. This is a joy that spills out into all the world. This is the joy that the angels proclaimed when Jesus was born. This is joy, the joy of the creator loving the created.
This year, I hope that Jesus’ joy may abide in me and my joy may be complete.