During Lent we had five reflective evenings on the subject of joy. The speakers were Johnny Pacner, the lead resident of St Peter's, Rev Ruth, the curate-in-training, and Father Daniel the vicar.
Each speaker touched upon the idea the joy is more than just happiness. Often we returned to the Beautitudes (Matthew 5.1-12) and Jesus' sense of what joy and blessings can be. Sometimes joy is doing the right thing even if that is incredibly difficult and flies in the face of the culture around us or the pressures put upon us to conform. Father Daniel began the Lent course with the joy that people hark for in Christmas. He wondered how the churches can minister to this longing without simply getting stuck in a rut of nostalgia? Johnny talked about his experience of growing up in a Communist country and how despair is the opposite of joy. Ruth gave us two very different pieces of art to reflect on around the subject of joy.