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Rejoicing: A Question For Christians and Muslims

Discussion in 'Religions Q&A' started by dybmh, Aug 5, 2021.

  1. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    I have a question for Christians and Muslims. In Judaism, we are instructed to rejoice during the harvest and during the festivals. Examples: Deuteronomy 12:7, Deuteronomy 12:12, Deuteronomy 16:14.

    Do the NT and/or the Quran contain a similar sentiment? In Christianity and Islam, are you instructed to rejoice? Is joy a "thing" in these religions? Is it scriptural?

    Thank you,
     
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  2. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    I believe, in the Christian perspective, the rejoicing during festivals is up to ones personal desire.

    What is mandated is:

    Philippians 4:4
    Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

    In all seasons during in all situations
     
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  3. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Ken! Nice to hear from you, hope all is well.

    Thanks for this, I'll look into it.
     
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  4. KenS

    KenS Face to face with my Father
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    It was a good "vacation". Nice to be back - everything was and is fine... just enjoying the moments.
     
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  5. Vouthon

    Vouthon Dominus Deus tuus ignis consumens est
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    Hi @dybmh

    Hope your keeping well mate :)

    Well, firstly, I would note that the verses you cited from the Torah are (it goes without saying, of course) also scriptural for Christians, so they would apply for the purposes of our moral theology just the same, even though we do not celebrate the Jewish festivals as Gentiles.

    But in terms of our particular (unshared) scripture, the New Testament, and our sacred tradition more generally, the answer would be an affirmative: yes.

    Joy is a frequent human emotional state, both described and enjoined in the gospels. Indeed, the actual word "Gospel" means Good News, and is therefore meant to be a revelation of joyfulness to those who hear it.

    One can follow this theme throughout the Gospels from the Annunciation in Luke, where Mary is informed that she will give birth to the Messiah: (“Do not be afraid, Mary, I have come to bring you tidings of great joy”) to the final parting words of Jesus at his Last Supper, before his crucifixion, in the fourth gospel of John: (“I have told you all these things that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be complete”). The very same message is emphasized yet again in the Epistles of St. Paul, who exhorts the early Christians to “rejoice always” and referred to, “The fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control.”

    Later saints like St. Francis of Assisi taught that Christians gain souls for God by “giving them joy and making them happy,” while mystics such as the medieval English anchorite Juliana of Norwich reiterated it: “The greatest honor you can give to Almighty God is to be joyful because of the knowledge of His love.”

    There are, accordingly, many verses of the NT where we are enjoined to experience joy, understood as an ecstatic sense of personal fulfilment or of completeness in one’s entire life, which is part of the message of the Gospel, as Jesus is noted to have said: "I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly" (John 10:10).

    For instance, we have Jesus's parable of the Treasure Hidden in a Field. This is an allegory for the human soul that is enlightened by the discovery of the beauty and truth of the Gospel, the Kingdom of God; described as a joyous experience that leads the person to want to abandon everything else for it:


    "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." (Matthew 13:44)​


    More particularly, we are called to abide at all times in the joy of the Lord, that is in communion with His will and particularly the command to love others as He has loved us.

    As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states:


    Catechism of the Catholic Church - Paragraph # 1720


    1720 The New Testament uses several expressions to characterize the beatitude to which God calls man:

    - the coming of the Kingdom of God; - the vision of God: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God"

    - entering into the joy of the Lord;

    - entering into God's rest:


    From the NT:


    John 15:11

    ταυτα λελάληκα ύμΐν ϊνα ή χαρά ή έμή έν ύμΐν ή και ή χαρά υμώνπληρωθη.

    [I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.]

    Part of the same discourse, and reiterating this same refrain of abiding in Jesus's own state of joy before God the Father through communion and obedience to the love commandment, is Jesus's parable of the pregnant woman in labour:


    John 16:20-24

    κλαύσετε και θρηνήσετε ύμεΐς, ό δε κόσμος χαρήσεται· ύμεΐς λυπηθήσεσθε, άλλ' ή λύπη ύμών είς χαράν γενήσεται. ή γυνή όταν τίκτη λύπην εχει, ... όταν δε γεννήση το παιδίον, ούκέτι μνημονεύει της θλίψεως διά τήν χαράν ... και ύμεΐς ούν νυν μέν λύπην έχετε (p66 et al: εξετε), πάλιν δέ οψομαι ύμας, και χαρήσεται ύμων ή καρδία, και τήν χαράν ύμων ούδεις αίρει άφ' ύμων ... αιτείτε και λήμψεσθε, ϊνα ή χαρά ύμων ή πεπληρωμένη


    [Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.

    When a woman is in labour, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world.

    So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you
    .]​


    This comparison to a woman in labour, going from anguishing pain to joy, was used in biblical and Jewish writings (e.g. Is 26:17; 66:7-14; Micah 4:9) before Jesus.

    Going beyond scripture, the early Church Fathers referred to something we call: “the everlasting festival”—that is, the plethora of holy days and feasts in the church's calendar that mark the entire Christian year as one infused with occasions for celebration and revelry.

    Our most solemn holy days, such as Easter and Christmas, are celebrated as octaves - for instance at Christmastime, when we are supposed to have eight days of feasting and cheer, culminating on New Years Day.

    Likewise, throughout Latin America, the first three months of the year are devoted to a huge variety of fiestas patronales, or patron saint festivals, highly joyous celebrations of the faith.

    And these festivities have a deep theological significance for us, because they are foreshadowings of the eternal joy that awaits in heaven, when we will both share and rejoice in the very divine life of God, His Beatific Vision:


    The Meaning of Christian Joy - Homiletic & Pastoral Review


    All this abundant human and divine joy that flows from the heart and mind of the Church leads the human intelligence to contemplate the great truth which St. Thomas Aquinas pondered: God is Happiness and Joy itself, and he created man “for his delight” and for man to share in the everlasting festival of the divine life of the beatific vision...

    The foundation for this heavenly joy is laid in this world from the moment of the Annunciation to the glory of Easter.
     
    #5 Vouthon, Aug 5, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2021
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  6. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Thanks vou, that was super-informative.
     
  7. Jeremiah Ames

    Jeremiah Ames Well-Known Member

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    Yes.

    In my small corner of Christianity, we rejoice always.

    We are joyful always.
     
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  8. Bree

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    Hi dybmh,

    Yes, christians are encouraged to rejoice in the Lord. But rejoicing is not set to particular festivals, events or days....it should form the basis of our state of mind and our rejoicing should become a condition of the heart

    Philippians 4:4 Always rejoice in the Lord. Again I will say, Rejoice!+

    1Thessalonians 5:16
    Always be rejoicing.+ 17 Pray constantly.+ 18 Give thanks for everything.+ This is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

    Regardless of a christians circumstances, there is reason to rejoice. The apostles of Jesus were fiercely opposed by the jewish religious leaders in the first century. They were put under every trial, and yet they wrote about their joy and encouraged others that with the hope of the resurrection and the promise of the kingdom of God soon at hand, nothing could dampen their spirits or their joy in their newfound chrisitan faith.

    2 Corinthians 6:4
    but in every way we recommend ourselves as God’s ministers,+ by the endurance of much, by tribulations, by times of need, by difficulties,+ 5 by beatings,+ by imprisonments,+ by riots, by hard work, by sleepless nights, by times without food;+ 6 by purity, by knowledge, by patience,+ by kindness,+ by holy spirit, by love free from hypocrisy,+ 7 by truthful speech, by God’s power;+ through the weapons of righteousness+ in the right hand and in the left, 8 through glory and dishonor, through bad report and good report. We are regarded as deceivers and yet we are truthful, 9 as unknown and yet we are recognized, as dying and yet look! we live,+ as punished* and yet not handed over to death,+ 10 as sorrowing but ever rejoicing, as poor but making many rich, as having nothing and yet possessing all things.+

     
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  9. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Very good question to bring up, and thanks for reminding me the importance of harvest (and of course all other processes needed before the food enters my stomach)

    Before corona I went to a Baptist church where the main focus of the service was to rejoice (rejoice in the Lord always). This made me very happy.

    During Christmas they had like 5 equal sermons because too many people visited to do it all in one service. I visited all 5, just because the joy focus lifted me up straight into 'Heaven'. And who wants to leave 'heaven' once you're there?

    Rejoice during harvest is not done in the Church, but personally my Teacher instructed me to pray for every bite I take and for every sip I take, blessing the ones who worked hard to make it possible for me to eat.

    This includes harvest time, but goes far beyond (the ones planting the seed, watering it, harvesting, bringing it to supermarkets, those who sell it, me preparing my food, and thank God providing energy and Love to make all of this possible)
     
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  10. Shakeel

    Shakeel Well-Known Member

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    Of course.

    Qur'an 10:58 "Say, "In the bounty of Allah and in His mercy - in that let them rejoice; it is better than what they accumulate."

    On the two Eid days it is a sunnah to rejoice - it should be done.
     
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  11. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Thank you,
     
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