Today is Gaudete Sunday, which means it is a day of rejoicing. We rejoice because Jesus is near. We rejoice because God became human. He came to show us life to the fullest, and to reconcile our sinful nature to God, who is love. He came that we might be united to him; he did these things because he loves us. Anyone who has experienced love, understands the joy that goes with it. It feels amazing to be loved. It feels amazing to love.
This message of love is at the heart of the Gospel. The message isn’t choosing heaven or hell. It isn’t about choosing a particular moral ethic or lifestyle. The message is about the greatness of God’s love for his people and all of his creation, and about the joy received when one lovingly responding to God’s love and mercy. Everything else is secondary for when we love, we live in a particular way.
Spend some time with the Holy Spirit contemplating your relationship with him. If it is not a life filled with love and joy, ask him to guide you to the place where you can experience the immensity of his love. Ask him to clear away any brokenness within you that prevents you from responding to these encounters with God with love. Ask him to make more clear to you the amazing joy that comes from a right relationship with him, and how you can cooperate with his efforts to help you more perfectly reflect his image and likeness to a world in great need of an agape form of love.