by Stuart Malkin 25 August 2021
Many years ago now the comedian and singer Ken Dodd came onto the pop scene with a song that struck the cords of many young and old alike. “HAPPINESS”, the first line of which was something like this.
“Happiness, Happiness , the greatest gift that I possess, I thank the Lord that I possess more than my share of Happiness “
I wonder how many people can say that this is true for them? Is Happiness a gift and how is it measured? I recall a few years ago the government set up a ”Ministry for Happiness”. They wanted to know where the happiest place in the UK was and what made the people there so happy. The answer to the data was never made public, but it sounds like an episode from a tv show of the time, Yes Prime Minister.
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Reading Luke Ch15 - The lost sheep
Jesus told them this parable
Suppose one of you had 100 sheep, and loses one of them. What do you do? You leave the other 99 in the pasture and go looking for the one that got lost until you find it. When you find it you are so happy that you put it on your shoulders and carry it back home. Then you call your friends and neighbours together and say to them I am so happy I found my lost sheep, let us celebrate. In the same way I tell you there wii be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over 99 respectable people who do not need to repent.
When you were at school was a there a subject or something that was taught that at the end you and your friends said “what was that all about, we will never use it again!”
Maths, and particularly statistics, then may have seemed gobbledegook. But as a consequence of the Covid 19 pandemic, we are shown daily graphs that show how true statistical data is.
The Olympic Games in Japan have just been completed following a year delay and around the world coronavirus is at its first, second or more peak. The athletes were ready and at their peaks in 2020 when they realised every muscle had to be kept going or many months to come. When it came to running, swimming or any other activity, be it old or new, somehow new peaks had to be reached. At the end of each event when Gold, Silver or Bronze had been won the happinesses shone through.
In the reading Jesus tells a story that still rings true today about a man losing a sheep so what does he do, he leaves his flock to find the one that is lost. Finding the lost one he returns full of joy, another example of happiness, but Jesus focuses this to his listeners on how there is the rejoicing in heaven when one is lost. Do we rejoice when someone we know finds a new life that is outside the bounds of this world. You hear so often people say I don’t believe in God, or the likes of science will have an answer to all our problems. May we pray that even in the pains of the pandemic and other challenging situations, they will see that there is a God who can change their lives in a very special way.
Father God may we continue to know you are with us in all situations of life and find happiness in as many corners of life. We pray this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen