6th Sunday of Easter (Ages 3-6): Living in Joy
We have been thinking about what Jesus says about himself. Jesus says he is the Good Shepherd who gives his life for the sheep. He knows them the same way God knows him. Jesus says he makes his home in us; we are his family. We know this happens at our Baptism. What else does Jesus say about himself?
As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you
Jesus tells us that he loves us. How does he love us? In the same way that God loves Jesus.
How does God loves Jesus? We have to remember Jesus' baptism again.
We remember that when Jesus is baptized, the heavens open, and God the Father's voice says that Jesus is the Beloved. Jesus is so loved. God pours the Holy Spirit out on him. Now Jesus lives in the Holy Spirit. Jesus lives in God's love.
This is how God loves Jesus.
Jesus says he loves us the same way. When we are baptized, water filled with the Holy Spirit is poured over our head. Why? So that we can live in the Holy Spirit. So that we can live in Jesus' love.
Why does Jesus want us to live in his love?
I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
What is joy?
Some people think joy means being happy, but joy is a lot more than just being happy.
Joy is what we feel when someone we love comes home. Everything is good again. Everything is right.
Joy is something that fills us up.
Joy cannot be kept inside.
Joy spills over.
When we feel joy, we know the Holy Spirit is filling us up and spilling over. We know we are living in God's love. We throw back our heads, we raise our arms, we sing "Alleluia!"