Joy Jangles [meditation]

‘Joy to the world’ the well-known opening line of a much loved song

Yet I’m not sure we often spend that much time thinking about it, even as we sing along

what we mean by that teeny tiny word:


It’s a little word. Usually the big hitters are well, bigger. 

At least 4 letters! (love, hope, home…)

However it’s a great word, 

An awesome thing,

That coincidentally cannot score less than 13 when played on a Scrabble board

And if you play it carefully you could easily score well over 50

Played right,

Joy is basically a gamechanger

And it was born in a manger

Joy is not happiness yet we sometimes conflate

Those moments of fleeting lightness and emotions elate

For the deep abiding soul hug, 

Of yourself being shone and reflecting out

From deep inside, that pureness of you

When you’re fully alive and embracing of the moment you’re in now.

That is joy.

There is beauty and good in the world all around

And we’re asked to live out and point out, that all the time, God is good

And if good all the time, then surely joy should resound?

It should jangle and leave a mark

Joy adds up, with a cumulative score

When you notice it, enjoy it, and invest it for more

Maybe we need to treat joy like loose change

That by itself may seem small

 But it can be found round the oddest of angles

And it’s useful and jangles and helps our doubt untangle.

Take note to yourself of what you do, who you know, 

That sparks joy for you

Then celebrate, enjoy, express

That warmth, blossoming up from the tip of your toes

Which as you share it, becomes more and overflows.

Joy has a pureness, uncluttered and clear

That makes the most of now, and points forward into a brighter future coming near

When I wrote this it was before the UK General election, 2019

And I had no clue at all if joy could be something I’d feel able to mention

But the reality I realised is that no matter what happened

Whether we’ve gone red, yellow, purple or blue

Our seeking of joy in such tumultuous times will, either way, be due.

Society is hurting, there’s pain and anger in spades

Divisions divide us, communities barricade, 

sweeping statements that slur spat out in the heat

Outsiders pushed out, self-centred motivations repeat

Across our damaged and bruised dis-united nation.

So while Joy might feel far flung

A victory is won

If we can try to find ways to bring ‘joy to the world’

It’s needed, for sure and how good would it be to hear heaven and nature sing?

What joy might that bring?!

Joy lasts longer than the emotion of happiness

It’s more a state of being, it’s deeper, wholer, makes up for any less

the “More” that we’re aiming for.

When we pray from Romans ‘may you have joy and hope in believing’ 

we’re saying we want our faith to be rich and grounded,

 long lasting and able to endure what-ever life throws at us

Be it austerity, sanctions or cuts, 

We need our faith to be steeped in joy, 

Built on a relational sense, an experiential knowledge of something

That we might struggle to explain, but we can still show, and share..

Joy adds up, with a cumulative score

When you notice it, enjoy it, invest it for more

So we empty our pockets, gather the moments of joy that jangle

Spend them, invest them, together they’ll wrangle

The chaos of life through the joy in the manger.

We can build a better place, Joy is the Gamechanger

Charlotte Noppen is…

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