As I review the core values selected by our church, I am so pleased at how many touch upon the Fruit of the Spirit. As we read in Galations 5:22
But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.
I was particularly happy that fun/joy was included. For me, church is a joyous experience. It fills me. It makes me whole. It gives me peace and joy.
Nothing is a better example of this than our annual Vacation Bible School program. I love working with children. Their excitement, their wonder and their smiles never cease to fill me with joy. As I am am filled, I am able to share. As Paul writes in Romans 15:13
May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Vacation Bible School and working with the children fills me with joy to the point of overflowing with the Holy Spirit. The experience of children laughing and smiling is an easy connection to the joy that God wants us to experience. But access to this joy is not limited to the happiness of our children.
Every experience with the church should fill us with joy. Our worship service fills me. The passing of the peace fills me. Time of prayer fills me. Singing hymns fills me. The Sunday sermon fills me. Our Sunday gatherings with church family are times of joy.
And it is even more. We need to approach every part of our connection to God as joyous. The psalmist put it will in Psalm 100:2
Worship the Lord with gladness, come before Him with joyful songs.
Everything we do should be a joyful song to God. Setting up chairs for church gatherings, preparing meals for the community shelter, committee meetings that go on for hours, cleaning the church grounds, repairing a broken pipe at the parsonage, stuffing envelopes for church mailings….and it goes on. Come before God in all you do with joy in your heart. It is a gift to God. Finally, as the psalmist wrote in Psalm 118:24
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.