Christian Civil War? A Joyful Jesus or a Sad Jesus?

Poet Doug Ridley of Cambridge, MD, has composed a number of
sonnets focusing on the healing joy of Jesus and the joy of Heaven and
on earth for The Joyful Noiseletter.

After a retired lawyer in Maryland read them, he confronted Ridley and
insisted on "the absurdity of viewing Jesus as a playful, fun-filled person."
And a woman, also retired, regularly accosted Ridley after church and
challenged him to show where in the New Testament Jesus ever laughed,
or joked, or was joyful.

In response, Ridley, a JN consulting editor, wrote the following sonnet:

Christian Civil War

I wrote two poems extolling Jesus' joy,
and was bombast-ed by two friends, alarmed
that I could see in Christ a God who'd toy
and play. Frivolity like that both harmed
and denigrated all they saw in him.
They challenged me to show the Savior they
adored would condescend to sing a hymn,
or joke, or find life fun in any way.

It's time for civil war within our ranks -
against the joyless Church, and end the lie
the world's embraced that we're all gloom and doom,
for Jesus came to fill our lives with thanks
and praise - abundant life. They moan and cry
as though our Lord still lay in Joseph's tomb.

By Doug Ridley

©2024 the Joyful Noiseletter. All Rights Reserved

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