May the God of hope fill you with joy in believing! Romans 12:12

When I hear the name Jeremiah I often think about a certain bullfrog whose name was raised to global fame in a song of joy back in the 1970s. It was not sung by the Three Kings of Epiphany fame but by a singular Three Dog Night that actually was a popular band formed by three vocalists (Chuck Negron, Cory Wells, and Danny Hutton).

At St. Paul’s we worship with joy, incredible joy! Joy is an operative word and an ever present feeling!

We affirm the lyrics featuring Jeremiah, “Sing it now, joy to the world! All the boys and girls! Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea, joy to you and me!” There is something truly unique happening at our church that I think people are desperately seeking… people want joy in worshiping God! They want to gather with people who smile and laugh rather than with folks busy judging others unlike themselves!

Of course, we could turn to the Bible’s Jeremiah for some joy too! Jeremiah declared, “The sounds of joy and gladness, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord, saying, “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the Lord is good; His love endures forever!” That’s something we do really well at St. Paul’s! We give thanks to the Lord God and declare that God’s love is ever lasting! If someone could eavesdrop in on our Sunday services they might not recognize it as church, because too many churches have limited or eliminated joy in worship. But not St. Paul’s!

As we head into 2024, I want you and me focusing in on the joy we share! I want us to celebrate that we can “rejoice in the Lord always!” I think it is about time we started to tell our community, our neighbors, our friends, and our family members that the God of Creation, the God whose love sent us Jesus, the God who loves each person equally, is celebrated at 74 Church Street in West Deptford every Sunday morning!

It’s time to make some joyful noise beyond our walls! To share the story of God’s love and of the amazing place of worship St. Paul’s is!! There’s no reason to hold back because this special church should not be a well guarded secret but rather everyone within a reasonable driving distance should be wanting to worship with us … with joy!!

Kirk Franklin sings a song that lifts my spirit every time I hear it. Of course, the song’s name is simply ‘Joy!’ Give a listen to it if you get a chance or listen to your favorite joy song and think about the joy you get worshiping God at St. Paul’s. Here’s the chorus of Franklin’s song:

“Joy, Joy! God’s great joy! Joy, joy down in my soul! Sweet, beautiful soul-saving joy! Oh, joy, joy in my soul!”


Pastor Dave

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