Exploding Joy

Mark Fackler

READ : Zechariah 10:6-7

Their hearts shall be glad. (v. 7)

John Calvin’s famous motto reads: “My heart I offer to you, Lord, promptly and sincerely.” Even to speak this sentence will put you in “good mind,” a term the writer Anne Lamott uses a lot.

Calvin was one of the great theologians of all time. Anne Lamott had a most unusual conversion from a very untraditional church background. Both of them were strengthened, saved, and “brought back” by the God whose compassion embraced and answered their diverse needs.

What’s your story? Were you raised and rooted in the church? Are you a free-thinker? Are you a “free-liver,” with few moral constraints to trouble your wild side? No matter. From the most sanctimonious to the most far-out, God is the one who strengthens and saves (v. 6). God is the one who brings people back as if they never left, who puts joy in the heart as if—Zechariah himself dares to say—as if they were dancing like a drunken warrior (v. 7). There’s an image for uptight Christians to consider!

Can you imagine ever being that joyful, after all you’ve been through? Read again what the prophet feels, how full and deep his joy goes, how the children catch on and start to laugh—children are always the quickest to rejoice. It’s no less than God saying: Here’s life again. Go ahead, exult a little!


Lord, your promise fills my heart and soul.