The Search for Happiness: Meaningful Connection

Think about when you were most happy. Was it in a time of change like starting a new career or a promotion to a new position? Maybe when love and family came together and your heart was full? Maybe you felt great gratitude and joy after coming through a difficult emotional time, or your health was restored, or you survived a tough financial setback. You realized you were just happy to be alive or to be back on level ground. As we talk about the search for happiness, we’ve said it can be a feeling or emotional state we’re seeking, or a great sense of satisfaction.

So many people are looking for happiness these days. Wherever we feel our search is taking us, the search needs to have God at the center of it. When we are seeking what God desires for us, we’re likely to find lasting happiness and the joy that God can give.

I don’t think we can find our happiness alone. Sunday we’ll talk about the search for intentional community, how our joy in life comes from our relationships with each other, what we give and receive. Many of us struggle with loneliness and it can be easy to feel isolated. Sometimes, it’s hard for us to connect with others because of work and schedules. Our social media allows us to connect with people online, often over great distances or after years of not being in touch. Yet that’s not enough for us. We also need face to face, personal connection. The church can play an important role in connecting us with each other on Sundays and during the week.

The Bible talks about how we were made for each other. Ecclesiastes says, “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help” (4:9-10). In his letter to the Romans, Paul says. “so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another” (12:5). That is a very interesting way of seeing the church. We are spiritually related to one another, needing what each other has to offer. Without each other, we are incomplete; we are diminished. The people around you in the church who love and support you are essential to your well being. Likewise, your love and concern are essential to their spiritual and emotional health. The people who disagree with you or maybe even drive you a bit crazy in the church are essential to your faith formation and understanding more of the way God works. And maybe they are there in church because they need something spiritual that only you can offer!

Our church always aspires to be a stronger spiritual community and one reason for that is the joy it brings as we care for each other and celebrate how God is working in our lives. Our experience of God is powerful when we worship, when we are one body as a community in our often fractured world.
Sunday we worship together as God’s people and discover again how the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Dave Summers
Senior Pastor
pastordave@pvumc.org
Office: 602-840-8360 Ext 131

“We invite you to join us on a shared journey of life and faith, open to all, regardless of age, ability, economics, color, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, politics, theology or anything else that might separate us from each other. Whoever you are and wherever you may be on your spiritual journey, you’re invited to walk with Christ in community with all of God’s children, and embrace the endless possibilities of God’s unconditional love.”

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