Shout for joy to God, all the earth.Psalm 66:1
Scatter Joy! This saying may seem like just a romantic phrase from Ralph Waldo Emerson, but can we discover ways to share and encourage joy in the lives of others? When the MennoExpressions team explored themes for the year, there was unanimous support for looking at positive, encouraging topics. Special sources of peace and happiness vary, of course, but we hope to present a few ideas to help you consider times, locales and experiences that bring moments of delight and warm, comforting memories.
If you want to examine joy as referenced in the Bible, there are at least 242 verses mentioning joy—ranging from Genesis to Jude.
Especially in the Psalms, looking to nature for delight is a common theme. And still today, whether traveling to discover beauty in exotic new places, wandering along a favorite lakeshore or wooded trail, or sitting quietly in a flower-filled garden, God’s inspiring handiwork can bring us joy.
“You will go out in joy, and be led forth in peace…and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”Isaiah 55:12
Grab a glass of lemonade or ice tea and read a few stories that we hope will make you smile.
The four FMC high school graduates, coupled with college and postgraduate scholars who completed years of study and work surely radiated delight as they accepted their diplomas. Their accomplishments also brought cheer—maybe along with tears—to family and friends who celebrated with them! We asked the High school seniors to share a photo of their “happy place,” so you can see a location that has brought them joy during their high school years.
Valerie Yoder shares with us moments of joy as a busy mom of two young children. Let her story reignite memories of delightful times looking at the world through the eyes of little ones.
Catch a glimpse of places and events that spark joyful memories for Janet Wakefield.
Sharing a local path to support skilled artisans and entrepreneurs from around the world, Mary Liechty fills in history and details that have made Global Gifts a long-time local source for unique hand-crafted items. Supporting these fair-trade artists has brought joy to many over the years, knowing that our purchases benefit handcrafters who may have no other way to support their families.
Many people, places and experiences bring us delight, but looking to the Lord for help and reassurance can provide stepping stones to the real source of joy.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in God…”Romans 15:13
About the author
Sharing a cup of tea and dessert with Wade, birthday meals with the family, arranging fairy gardens with our granddaughters, laughing at the antics of silly pets, phone calls with children, siblings and friends while we are apart, enjoying meals in our shady garden, long lunches with friends after church—all of these are sources of joy in my life.