Unlimited: Rejoice with the Rejoicing
Aug 9, 2023 446
Rejoice with those who rejoice (Romans 12:15a).
As followers of Jesus, our relationships with others are to be characterised by empathy. We are to share and enter into the experiences of others. One of the greatest obstacles to our spiritual growth that most of us will face is the way we harden ourselves against the feelings of others, so that we justify our unwillingness to empathise with those who suffer.
When others grieved, we are told that Jesus wept. But his rejoicing with others is much more frequently mentioned than his weeping. One of the most common motifs in his parables is that of the banquet. When others rejoiced, Jesus rejoiced with them. He attended weddings. He was known and criticised for eating and drinking even with sinners:
The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners… (Matt. 11:19.)
When others rejoiced, Jesus rejoiced with them.
I’ve come to the conclusion that we don’t rejoice enough. The apostle Paul knew what it meant to be part of community that shared life together, and rejoiced together. He wrote,
my joy comes from your being joyful (2 Cor 2:3, NLT.)
…if one part of the body suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if a part is honored, all the parts rejoice with it (1 Cor 12:26, NASB.)
Is it possible to worship God in a party? How would that happen? Think it through.