Joy

Youth, Old Age, Judgment and Death

The world is a wonderful place and the possibilities are endless and God has given us appetites and desires and Ecclesiastes is saying that you should follow them and see where they lead. There are, of course, sinful desires and appetites and Ecclesiastes is not encouraging you to follow those, but we are created with hearts that seek satisfaction and fulfillment and pleasure and joy. That belongs to our humanity. We have desires to learn things and experience things and accomplish things. There are things to do. Places to go. People to meet. Relationships to nurture. Experiences to try. Subjects to investigate. Skills to learn. Tastes to experience. God created the world and pronounced it good and there are ways to participate in life and its potentials that are in harmony with God’s intention and Ecclesiastes is saying that when you are young you should seize the day.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Enjoying Life!

So, the enjoyment of life that Ecclesiastes is speaking about in these verses is the enjoyment of life with its pleasures as a gift of God. It is the gift of God part that makes the difference between an empty life and a life of profound enjoyment. Then the foundation of the enjoyment is the generosity of God. The enjoyment is in the goodness of God as well as the pleasure in the gift. And because of that there is a contentment with one’s lot. One’s lot in life is a gift of God who distributes his gifts in love and wisdom.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

Comfort for the New Year (1)

There is something very precious about belonging to Jesus Christ and belonging to God the Father. When we belong to God, we matter to God. Jesus bought us with a price. God the Father chose us to be his treasured possession. He has adopted us into his own family. We are important to God. We are significant to God. We are loved by God. Because we belong to him in these different ways we know that we have value in his sight. And this is something that matters a great deal.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

The Song of Mary

Jesus came on a mission of mercy because he came to save us from our sins. God’s mercy has to do with saving us from our sins. We cannot understand or appreciate the meaning of the birth of Christ unless we understand this fact and unless the horror of sin and its consequences are real to us. Jesus came to live the life that we should have lived, and he came to die the death that we deserve so that our sins might be forgiven and so that the power of sin in our lives may be broken.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra

John the Baptist and the Promise

The underlying truth here is that sin is the cause of all misery and salvation from sin is the cause of the greatest possible joy. The underlying truth here is that separation from God is the cause of all misery and reconciliation with God is the cause of the greatest possible joy. This is what Advent and Christmas are all about for the people of God who are waiting for the coming of the Lord – both those who were waiting for the first coming and those who are now waiting for the second coming.
— Rev. Jerry Hamstra