Father, you bless our heads with everlasting joy (Isa 35:10)
and urge us to “Serve the Lord with gladness!” (Ps 100:2).
For joy our lives are given to us
and for joy we have been sustained to this present hour.
How are we supposed to be able to help those who are without joy and courage,
if we ourselves are not borne by courage and joy?
With you there is joy, and from you it comes down
and seizes spirit, soul, and body.
Cause your joy to seize us, reach around us, and pull others along,
bursting through closed doors.
We do not ask for the kind of joy that knows nothing at all
of the pain, distress, and anxiety of the heart.
This kind of joy cannot last,
but only numb for a time.
Your joy has gone through the poverty of the manger
and the distress of the cross;
therefore it is invincible and irrefutable.
Induce your joy to be born in and through and around us always!
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1906 – 1945, German Lutheran theologian and martyr
adapted from I Want to Love These Days With You
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.