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A Bracing Jolt of Joy

But the scandalous truth – known by mystics throughout history and affirmed in the pages of our sacred texts is that when we connect with God, it is as if we are plugging our souls into a pure current of high-voltage joy. The joy that surprised me under the stars in my teens was exactly what the ancient Psalmist knew (16:11): that God is a joyful being and to enter or awaken to God’s presence is to enjoy a bracing jolt of invigorating delight followed by increasing levels of unending pleasure. Yes, there is indeed a place for quiet reverence, the dignity of robes and the noble tranquillity of marble columns and pipe organs. But my suspicion is that among the barefoot poor, we learn something that the well-heeled seldom discover: God is joyful, and God’s joy is contagious. When we tap into the joy of the Lord, when we step into the pure joy that burns like a billion galaxies in the heart of God, we’ll soon find ourselves shouting, dancing, singing, leaping, clapping, swaying, laughing, and otherwise jubilating and celebrating.

- Brian D. McLaren, Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in Twelve Simple Words (HarperOne, 2011), Chapter 8.
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