Prayer: Dear God, thank you for showing us the way to have complete joy. Amen
Reading: John 15: 9-17 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: "I (Jesus) have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15: 11
Told us what? What exactly? What do we need to know to have joy? Oh, we gotta know! Isn't everyone yearning to have joy? We know what the media tells us. A Coke and a smile anyone? All those people driving fancy cars sure look happy. Even the right laundry detergent can seemingly make us cheerful. Hooray, stains out!
However, Jesus is not talking about shallow, short-term fleeting happiness but rather deep, down, long-lasting joy. Joy is good; complete joy is even better. So, tune out all the world's ways of making us feel better and tune into what Jesus says: "Love each other as I have loved you...so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete."
Having a Coke might make you feel good but sharing a soda (pop) while laughing with a friend is real joy. A reliable, new car may bring security but driving it to carpool kids around makes the miles joy-filled. Getting that chocolate stain out of the new shirt may bring relief but we all know the true joy was in the family going out for ice cream together.
Let's love each other as God has loved us and our joy will be complete! --Ruth Gates, Camp Mount Luther Family Camper
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