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Share My Joy

"Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and serach carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying,'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Luke 15: 8-10 (NRSV)

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15 (NRSV)

The woman in Jesus' parable was so happy to find her lost coin that she had to tell her neighbors. Thomas Blanton, from North Carolina, felt like he could relate to her joy. After he won custody of his children, he moved to a new town to start a new job doing what he loved. He wanted to celebrate his joy at this new beginning.

As Thomas began looking for a church home in his new town, however, every sermon he heard was about how Christ comforts us in our sorrows. Thomas knew that, but he also wanted to hear the message that the church cared about his happiness. It was frustrating to want to share joy when all he encountered was sympathy. When one pastor happened to mention that God cares about our joy as well as our sorrows, he returned to that church.

There had been sad times before in his life and there have been others since then, but at that time, he needed to know that God and the church were rejoicing with him. Thomas resolved to be more sensitive to what is going on in others' lives so that if someone is sad he can empathize; and if someone is happy, he can rejoice with them. When we pay attention to others' feelings, we can build a community that is present and supportive in all circumstances. We all need to know we are not alone, no matter what.

Prayer: Dear Lord. you have created us for each other. Help us to rejoice with those who are happy just as we weep with those who are sad, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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