A Liturgy for Those Looking for Joy
When the world expects sadness,
help us, Creator of Light, to look for pockets of joy.
When the world is overwhelmed by darkness,
give us eyes to see little delights.
When the world is caught up in sensationalism,
help us speak of the hidden wonders we’ve discovered,
holding them up for others to see.
The sacred stillness of the early morning,
a quiet moment in the sun,
small children laughing on scooters,
trees bursting into bloom and lillies opening at the corner bodega.
These small joys reveal the truth of the world we live in.
No, there is not peace everywhere
and all pain has not been removed.
But there are still people returning home,
voices that pray,
moments of forgiveness,
signs of hope.
We don’t have to wait until all is well
to celebrate the glimpses of your Kingdom at hand.
Let us not deny sadness,
but transform it into fertile soil for more joy.
Let us not deny the darkness,
but choose to live in the light.
Cynics seek darkness wherever they go,
but joy is the mark of the people of God.
Help us discipline ourselves to choose joy
for the reward is joy itself.
Help us renew our minds until they default to joy and not fear,
for there is so much to frighten us.
Help us believe that the Light can be trusted,
for there is so much darkness to mislead us.
Jesus, you are both the Man of Sorrows and the Man of Complete Joy,
help us to hold both sorrow and joy in the ways you’ve shown us.
Help us to remain in your love
so that your joy may be in us
and our joy may be complete.
Note: This liturgy is inspired by Henri Nouwen’s The Return of the Prodigal Son.
Each of these liturgies was prayerfully written based on the promises of God in Scripture. We’ve listed them below with links, for those who wish to study further.
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