Monday, December 6, 2010

Vocalizing Joy


A consideration for the holiday season and for "the post-season" is to proclaim our joy and thanksgiving. There is tremendous value in the very act of vocalizing our joy. C. S. Lewis once confessed that for many years he was uncomfortable with the Scriptural admonitions to praise God. He once considered it a rather arrogant request. But in his book “Reflections on the Psalms,” he writes: “…The most obvious fact about praise…whether of God or anything…strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise....the world rings with praise....I had not noticed that the humblest, and at the same time most balanced and capacious, minds, praised most, while the cranks, misfits and malcontents praised least...praise almost seems to be inner health made audible...”

An intangible relationship exists between the body and the soul. Sometimes the health of the inner soul can bring health to a sick body. And sometimes the body can bring the soul into a state of blissful happiness. The act of rejoicing, praising, or giving thanks with our mouths may serve to express the joy of our hearts but it may also relief the sorrow of a troubled act and replace it with joy. The demonstration of our faith through acts of rejoicing transforms our feelings. In other words, we can, indeed, act our way into a better way of feeling. Richard Foster in “the Celebration of Discipline” echoed this theme when he wrote, "Joy begets joy. Laughter begets laughter. It is one of those things in life that we multiply by giving." The more we rejoice, the more we will want to rejoice.


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