A few years ago we opened a new Children’s Center and it was so exciting. The building was new, fresh, safe and it would give us a chance to continue ministering to kids for years and years!  It was so exciting to be a part of it! One of my favorite memories was cheers from the kids during the first big group gathering, you could feel the joy in their screams, it brought tears to my eyes. It was amazing to witness.

Of course, that meant saying goodby to the rooms I grew up in learning about the Gospel with so many great leaders, songs, stories, games, and many more memories. I will never forget leading one of my 2nd-grade students to Christ when I was a lowly high school student serving as a Sunday school teacher. It was a joy and a privilege that I will never forget and I will cherish always.

In Ezra 3 we see a combination of feelings the people were going through as the temple was being rebuilt. In verse 13 we see how there were shouts of joy and weeping indistinguishable from each other and it could be heard near and far. This was a vital part of the history for all the people as a group and it was important in each person’s heart.

People remembered the past and were now living in the moment. They did it with many emotions, but the joy of what was to come was evident. There can be joy in change. I’m sure you have experienced that and I know I have many times. The joy from the Lord overcomes my past, my fears, and the Lord’s joy fixes my pain. Paul discusses this at length in Romans (5:3-5) and 2 Corinthians (12:9), Peter (4:13) mentions it, and so does James (1:2-4). We suffer through change and need to recognize the pain, but Jesus allows us to rejoice. He heals, he unites and he gives joy.

As we walk in this journey together, let’s be honest with the Lord, let’s be united by our Savior, and rejoice in what Jesus is doing. No matter the season we are in, Jesus allows us to live with joy.

Jeremy Johnson
Family Pastor

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