As a start to my new Word of the Year, I’d like to share this devotion from Beth Moore. It speaks about joy in a very interesting way:
Seven blessings are pronounced during a Jewish wedding ceremony, each of which comes from the dignitaries at the wedding, my friend Arie tells me. Usually the rabbi begins it. Then maybe a father-in-law, maybe an uncle, maybe an older brother. But there are seven blessings spoken. And the seventh blessing is always the blessing over Jerusalem. I find this to be very intriguing. The blessing goes something like this: “Bless You, Lord, the Builder of Jerusalem, who will rebuild the temple one day.”
Then what do you suppose they do? What is the part you and I probably now the best? Right–they break the glass.
Arie said, “There are some who think that the broken glass just begins the great ceremony, but that is not what it’s about. The breaking of the glass is to bring them to a very sober time of thinking that in the midst of great celebration, we must remember” — and I’m quoting his exact words — “that our joy is incomplete.”
I said, “Okay, Arie. What makes our joy incomplete?” (Remember all the times that Christ said, “Make My joy complete?”) “What makes our joy incomplete, Arie?”
“Two things,” he said. “The first thing is that some of our loved ones are missing from the wedding, those who have already died. The second one is because there is no temple for now in Jerusalem.”
But for us as New Testament believers, both of those longings have been satisfied. Regarding our loved ones: those in Christ will be present at the wedding supper of the Lamb. And regarding the temple: well, no, there’s not a temple in this new Jerusalem. But that’s okay, “because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Rev. 21:22). Who needs a place of worship when the object of our worship is right here before us, not seen through representation and symbolism, but here for the enjoying?
Isn’t that enormous? No more sadness, reflection, regret, or mourning. No more holes in our happiness–having someone who’s not there to share it with, a shoe waiting to drop. No more taking worship to a level that only makes our heart ache for more. Do you understand that our joy gets to be complete, just as John had reported, just as Jesus had said? –Beth Moore, Portraits of Devotion, pg. 511