In the heat of political campaigns the candidates with the most anger seem to remain frontrunners. The agenda begins with an effort to defame the integrity of competitors. The party in power is the villain, and hope for the nation rests with the angry one. This program can be the same for preachers as well. Shout about evil, fill the hearers with guilt, and let the message of bad news be the gospel. The politician and preacher sometimes share the same podium. But that program isn’t limited to these professions. We’re all capable of spewing anger to get attention.
In a troubled world it is easy to forget that our lives are meant to be lived with joy. We were given life to celebrate the gifts of creation and to embrace love. Mother Teresa said it so well:
“The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people is to accept everything with joy. A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love.”
Can we celebrate life and allow our hearts to burn with loving, helping, giving, rescuing, and as Mother Teresa said, to be with Christ “in his distressing disguise”? Mother Teresa certainly knew the distress of poverty, sickness, and loneliness in those she met in Calcutta, but she approached problems with love and joy in her heart to help and heal. Her passion was to see Christ in others, even in their distressing disguise.
Can that be our passion too? Can joy win?