Our Grow Group was studying Luke 24:33-53 tonight and talking about joy.
Out of nowhere, we created a theory of joy.
I got the ball rolling by asking this question: "Where do the disciples get their joy?"
All around the circle, eyes turned to their papers, scanning the passages and looking for insight. A few grains of sand fell to the bottom of the hourglass in my mind. And then Don jumped in: "It looks like knowing that Jesus was alive again gave them joy. That and knowing that he was going to send the Spirit."
Now that, all by itself, was a slam-dunk answer. But the Group wasn't done.
Loretta pointed out that just before the passage mentions the disciples' joy, the passage notes that the disciples worshipped Jesus. Maybe worship and joy are connected.
Worship and knowing ... joy.
This was getting pretty interesting.
Michelle chimed in at this point, drawing our attention to Jesus blessing the disciples. This rounded out our emerging theory.
We know that Jesus is alive, which is a blessing to us and which leads us to worship. And the result of all this is joy.
So how can we see more joy in our lives?
Maybe we could look at these three ideas: knowledge and worship and blessing.
Bruce talked about growing in knowledge of Jesus.
Jody talked about spending time in worship.
John talked about taking a walk in his neighborhood and listening to Three Dog Night and enjoying the blessings of life in a way that honors Jesus.
Before we knew it, we had a robust inductive theory of joy, created on-the-spot. It was built on insightful analysis of the passage and is useful. I can do something with it today.
What a night!