Monday, December 13th
Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. ~ 1 Peter 1:8-9 (NRSV)
Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart. ~ Gordon B. Hinckley
You have to look for the joy. Look for the light of God that is hitting your life, and you will find sparkles you didn’t know were there. ~ Barbara Johnson
While I was receiving chemotherapy treatments, there came a time when my white blood cell count dropped quite low, which meant my immunity was low, too. I generally stayed home to isolate, but when i needed to go out, I wore a mask (little did I know this would later become a regular routine!). One day I was chatting with a gentleman as we rode the hospital elevator. He said some kind and uplifting words to me, so I asked him, “Can you tell I am smiling under this mask?” He smiled back and replied, “I know you’re smiling because I see the sparkle in your eyes.”
Today we are invited to see and share the joy of Christ – to be mindful of using our eyes to notice reasons for joy and then to convey that inner joy, too.
In today’s Bible passage, Peter writes of the joy we have in Christ Jesus, even though we cannot see him. Oh, we may not see his physical body, but we can find his presence everywhere! Since the beginning of the universe, Jesus Christ has been with us – through the Word, through his life, through his Spirit, through all of creation. When we open our eyes to see him, when we open our hearts to find him, we will find him everywhere – and in him we will also find great joy.
In the same way, let’s be mindful that even when people may not see our smiles – when we are masked, when we are thoughtful or serious, when we are listening with compassion – they may still see our inner joy shining, our genuine love twinkling, through our eyes that have witnessed Christ’s presence, deeply and often.
Twinkle. What joy might you find today that will bring a twinkle to your eyes?
Prayer: Loving Jesus, I deeply long to see and to share your joy. Keep my eyes focused and attentive, that I may see your presence, notice your goodness, and take in your joy. Then, open my eyes to see those who need your joy today and to share that joy with them. May my eyes and my countenance sparkle with the incredible joy that you bring. Amen.