3rd March 2019.

As the clock continues to tick to Brexit scheduled for 11.00pm on 29th March 2019 opinion remains divided as ever. The referendum, meant to bring clarity to the status of the UK within the European Union appears only to have delivered a cacophony of confusion resulting with division in the nation, chaos within the government and fatigue amongst the populace – most of whom are now at that wilful stage of simply: ‘Just get the job done’. This plethora of emotion combined with the usual function of daily life led me to ask this week: Where is the joy? I mean, where – is – the – joy?

When Paul wrote to the church at Rome he said, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ This is the Apostle Paul speaking – his circumstances often far from ideal; his life rarely free from concern for the church, and his enemies – of one sort or another – close on his tail as he chased around Asia Minor like a man on a mission. Oh’ that’s right – he was a man on a mission! So, it’s quite a statement – and one that I’d like to explore in today’s sermon. If joy was available to Christians living in first century Italy, then surely it’s accessible to you and I today. Or, in the words of Julian of Norwich writing in the fourteenth century, ‘The worst has already happened and been repaired… All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.’ Amen.