Melissa sent me an mp3 lecture on "Liturgy, Worship and the Ordering of Affections" by Gordon T. Smith. I like his tone of lecture as well as the form and style of language but more than that, he spoke about something that I find close to my heart at the moment - the joy of doing anything at all.
He said joy is the tonality of Christianity. He quoted Alexander Schmemman, "I think God will forgive everthing except lack of joy." He believes that, "Spiritual formation must necessarily include the ordering of the deep loves, desires and longings of the Christian."
I find lately that I am been in circumstances where negative emotions were rife wherever I was. There is such a great need for us to order our emotions and desires to serve the Lord in whatever we do -- be it in the church or in our vocation, in the study of Scripture or the practice of the disciplines -- to do it all with joy in the Lord.
Our faces and our eyes mirror our state of emotion in all that we do. Are our faces mournful, are our eyes dull? Or are they brilliant, shining with joy in the Lord?
No wonder Nehemiah said, "Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."