In one electric, life-changing instant, it seems as though everything in us shifts and a blinding new reality enters.
Until this point, so much has been struggle. Nonetheless, we remained faithful through all the difficulties and missteps.
Now what arrives and opens in us feels like the everlasting embrace of an eternal guardian or an intimate lover.
It is as though we have walked through a gate into the most beautiful springtime garden imaginable. Immeasurable beauty and bounty surround us.
We are filled with an immediate and unexpected experience of union - full, unreflected, visionary, totally indescribable. The sensations of this moment will be different for each of us. Some of us will be aware of a new energy; we may tingle or tremble. Some will feel a deep stillness. A great calm - or exuberance - may arise. Yet almost universally, we will perceive everything as gift.
This is the experience of the blossoming Christian community in the teeming complexity of the Aegean port of Ephesus, at the end of the first century. John's gospel provided answers on how to take former enemies and create a diverse community of oneness. Its answers on ecstasy, diversity, and union remain wisdom for us today.
Question: How do we receive joy?
Emotion: Feelings of ecstasy, joy, union, and that all is instantly well
Time: Dawn to late morning
Gospel Metaphor: Resting in John's Glorious Garden