The nature of joy

By Dave Henning / February 26, 2015

“In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a while you will see me.”- John 16:16

“It is the nature of joy that all questions grow silent, and nothing needs explaining.”- Rudolf Bultmann

As John Ortberg concludes Chapter 9 of Soul Keeping, he discusses Jesus’ message to His disciples shortly before His death.  Regarding His illustration of a woman giving birth (John 16:21-25), Jesus points out that while a woman can bring the pain of childbirth to memory, the joy of giving life is greater than the pain of giving birth.  What begins in pain ends in joy.

This philosophy characterized the early church.  Even though followers of Jesus were beaten, they rejoiced.  Imprisoned, they sang songs.  Though living in poverty, they were joyfully generous.  No one, or nothing, is capable of taking away our joy!

Winston Churchill’s funeral was held in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.  When the service was over, a bugler went up in the Dome and played “Taps”- time for sleep.  Everyone in attendance thought that was the end.  After the echoes from the last note of “Taps” died out, another bugler on the other side of the dome played Reveille- time to get up.

Pastor Ortberg concludes with these words of encouragement:

“We will see the goodness of God.  The world will be re-born.  Pain will be defeated.  There will be no more questions.”

Today’s question (since we’re still here!): How would you interpret Rudolf Bultmann’s quote about the nature of joy?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Walk with God”

About the author

Dave Henning

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