Do We Sing the Note of Joy?
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:3).
The early church was characterized by praises to God and a sense of joy. “Blessed be the God and Father!” That was their note and it came out all at once.
But that note of praise and joy was not confined to the early church. If you read the long history of Christianity you will find that note has been characteristic of the church in every period of revival. At every time of reformation and the church again has been thrilled with a sense of “wonder, love, and praise.”
Very well! Before we as Christians go any further let us ask ourselves some obvious questions. Is this the characteristic note of our Christian life and witness? Is this what we feel? Is this our response to the Gospel? Is this our actual experience in the modern world, and in spite of everything awful in the world about us?
On this morning, this is surely the most important thing for us to say to ourselves. We claim to be Christians. We make our public profession of faith. But in the last analysis what is the test of it all? Is there within us the spirit that was in the apostle Peter and in the people to whom he wrote?
Of those people the apostle was able to declare: “Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations” (1:6). A little later he wrote about Christ: “Whom not having seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and fall of glory” (1:8).
Peter said all that about ordinary folk like ourselves. As we meet together claiming to believe this wondrous fact of the resurrection of the Son of God, the important question is: what is our reaction, what is our response to this mighty message that we claim to believe? Do we sing the note of joy?
~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones