“LAUGHTER & REJOICING”
New Church of Montgomery
Sermon by Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly
Sunday, April 7, 2019
The Lord is about to do a new thing. He promises a way in the wilderness. He delivers rivers in the desert. Wild animals honor him for his goodness. Refreshing drink is given to his chosen people, who gladly rejoice and praise Him.
It is time to be expectant. To wait humbly. To wait gratefully. To wait with an open heart.
Dreams are made alive when the Lord restores the fortunes of Zion. The people laugh and declare with shouts of joy. The harvest is full and the people’s hearts are joyful.
The people will be well fed, nourished and companionable with each other.
There is a table full, for breaking bread, sharing wine, and celebrating all that is good about the lives God has given us.
Emanuel Swedenborg reveals how people rejoice in carrying the sheaves of wheat which signify that they are being given the truth.
Truth is the bread of life, truth for which we all may be thankful.
Let us rejoice and be glad. Let us be glad rejoicing, hand in hand, celebrating the truth with each other.
The people of Philippi are told that all is lost, but what they gain in Christ. That nothing before Christ has any meaning or significance.
They are taught that the prize is in a heavenly call of God in Jesus Christ. The reward is in our transformation, our transformation through loving our Lord.
Let us open to this transformation process and forever be made new.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus visited Bethany, home of Lazarus, who was raised from the dead, six days before Passover.
In gratitude and praise, Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with costly perfume, and wipes them with her hair.
Judas questions this outrageous extravagance. How could she waste this valuable oil?
Jesus scolds Judas, saying she bought it for Jesus’ burial, warning alas of his departure soon.
Let us appreciate the precious days of the presence of those we love. They are near and dear now, and for that we can be thankful.
The promises of our Lord Jesus give us the ability to laugh and rejoice, even in hard times.
We are given the simple gifts of presence, of being where we are meant to be.
We are here, together as family, and grateful for each other, every one of us, near and far.
Thank you, Lord our God. We are greatly blessed.
Embracing the messages of Christ, we are given wisdom and deep-hearted gladness.
Our hearts are full, fulfilled with joy, brimming over with heavenly blessedness.
Let us again be cheerful, with laughter and rejoicing.
The Lord’s goodness and generosity be praised.
For it is good and we are here.