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Last week my sermon was “Easter Affects My Suffering.” On, what seems to be the completely other side of life experiences, this is also true: Easter Affects My Joy.

What sort of posture do you imagine a joyful person takes? What does their face look like? We usually equate joy with happiness. Would you say so?

But, then…what is happiness? Maybe that sounds like a silly question. Maybe you’d say, “Happiness is when someone is…well…happy…” It’s hard to define, I think.

In 2003, a report was given to then President George W. Bush from his Council on Bioethics. He had charged this Council with “to undertake fundamental inquiry into the human and moral significance of developments in biomedical and behavior science and technology” and “to facilitate a greater under-standing of bioethical issues.”

After 16 months of research, the title of their completed report to the President is “Beyond Therapy: Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

I have a copy of this (book) and it is a very interesting/troubling/insightful read.

The Declaration of Independence of our country defines that the inalienable rights of all people, given by our Creator, and to be protected by government are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It’s an interesting description, I think. It doesn’t say that happiness is a right, but that one can pursue happiness. I wonder if it’s because the founders of the country knew that full happiness is never attainable in this broken world. You can pursue it all you want…but you may never catch it!

Yet, this is exactly what the world is after. The world has no shortage of options for you to become happy. And this is what President Bush’s Council on Biothetics found out.

With the biomedical options that are now on the table, and since 2003 have advanced even more rapidly, there are many many ethical issues which have arisen.

People are trying with all their might to create a perfect life. A joy-filled life.

What I will preach on Sunday is a different message. The Scriptural story, particularly from the Apostle Paul is that joy is a result of the new life we have in Christ. Even Jesus himself says in his high priestly prayer in John 17 that he has come that his joy may be fulfilled in us.

Joy is not achieved. Joy is not reached. Joy is given to us. From Jesus.

I pray that you’ll join us on Sunday for this concluding sermon in the series Easter Affects!

As always, check out the sermon archive at copperluth.org/sermon-archive or download our church app to get caught up or watch/listen/share again.

 

Alive in Christ!

Pastor Aaron