18 April 2018

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
     Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
    and his courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.   

Psalm 100

How good is this. It’s the middIe of April, 27 degrees (81°F), there isn’t a cloud in the sky and we were walking along the Monument Hill track between Trial Bay Gaol and Little Bay in Northern NSW.  Kangaroos watched us, unperturbed by our presence only 10 metres away, a huge Lace Monitor walked up the track toward us before slowly heading off into the bush.  But that was nothing compared to what we were about to witness.

As we looked out over the ocean, we could see little white dots and then dark black masses, only 50-100 metres offshore.  We couldn’t quite work out what it was.  Then as a wave crashed, we saw black dorsal fins silhouetted against the white foam, as dolphin after dolphin rode down the waves before turning back into the surf.  They looked like streaking missiles, racing vectors of energy, as four or five pods of these powerful, majestic creatures advanced toward the shore like an armada. But they hadn’t come to fight, but to play – swimming, jumping, leaping, smacking their fins against the waves.  It all looked so easy, so effortless, so joyous. It was so beautiful to watch. You couldn’t help but smile.

It made me think.  Where are you and I at in the journey of life?  Does the Trial Bay Gaol best represent how you presently feel about your life?  Are you imprisoned by your fears, addictions, depression or worries?  Freedom so close, yet so elusive?  Are you like us walking along, watching the dolphins; seeing them swim, leap, jump and splash around and wishing that your life could be as effortless?  Joyous?  Or are you like the dolphins themselves, splashing around in God’s playground of this world, celebrating the freedom and victory that Christ’s death and resurrection has won for all?  Are you truly alive, rising up from the depths of sin to bask in the new life of the Son, given to you in baptism? 

That life is possible  It’s the joy of resurrection life.  It’s a gift of God’s grace.  This is God’s world.  God’s playground.  God made it.  God made us – and it is good. In Christ, whatever has imprisoned you, now lies in ruins.  God has set us free not just to watch, but to frolic, to play, to celebrate the gift of life, to splash in the waves, to enjoy his goodness with every single breath.  That’s what it means to enter his presence with joy.  It’s a life of worship.  It’s a life of thanksgiving.  It’s a life that proclaims that God is good, loving and faithful to all he has made through all generations. 

May you get a glimpse of that life and freedom today as you splash around in God’s playground! By the way…as I write this, a Kookaburra sits less than a metre and a half from me on the balcony rail, just watching.  Life…it doesn’t get any better than this!

TO PONDER:   What is stopping me from splashing around in God’s playground, safe and secure in his life today?

Lord Jesus, let your resurrection come alive in me, that I may splash around joyfully in your gracious presence. Amen.