I was struck this morning by a line in John’s Gospel:
John 15:11 ‘I have told you these things so that my Joy may be in you, and that your Joy may be complete.’
I imagine complete Joy to be like the feeling you get when you finish 1000 piece jigsaw and it has taken tears and time to complete.
Or when you’ve moved the furniture around the room several times, hoovered, tidied and then sat back at the new arrangement and it looks complete.
For me, Joy is not about excitement and happiness and bouncing up and down but the happy feeling you get that comes with a sense of satisfaction and a side order of peace and contentment.
It might be the peace that Jesus got as He uttered His last words on the cross – It is finished! Maybe – or It is complete!
And this completeness also comes when Jesus talks about us loving our enemies and those we don’t love now. He commands us to love our enemies as if they were friends so that we might be perfect – or in another way of translating that Greek work – Complete. Fulfilled.
Finished like a priceless piece of art or a well designed tool.
And these come as Jesus is instructing His disciples in how they should live and what they should do (Chapter 13), how God loves them, how the Son will give Himself fully for them (Chapter 14), how the Holy Spirit will come (Chapter 14+16), how His disciples are friends and family not servants or slaves to the Father (Chapter 15).
But all too often we sacrifice the sense of completeness for other things:
We rush from completing one thing to starting another without stopping and sensing the Joy.
Or we start looking for the next thing to buy, the next upgrade to our deal instead of feeling that sense of satisfaction and Joy.
Maybe we even forget to look back at what we have completed or what God has completed in us to see the Joy that could be ours.
So today – I wonder what we could do to feel a bit more complete.
Could we finish the task we have set for ourselves today and take a moment to give thanks and feel complete?
Can we look back at the things we have finished, the roads we travelled, the hurdles scaled, the seasons passed and feel satisfied that they have been completed?
How about counting those things we are thankful for? – Once in a while or each day depending on how easy it comes to us to give thanks and recognise God at work in our lives.
As the Father loves the Son and is complete,
So the love that Son shows for us in complete also.
May you live and work and rest in that love.
For He loves us and calls us to live a life embracing God’s commandments,
So that His Joy may be in us and that Joy may be complete.
May you feel that Joy and Completeness today. Amen.