When was the last time you danced for joy?
For a Baltimore teenager named Amari Hall, it was just recently, about six days after his successful heart transplant. In a video that quickly went viral, he can be seen dancing with pure joy in his hospital bed, as the doctor and nurses join in around him. Just a month before, he was facing death from a heart defect. But after a grueling sixteen-hour surgery, he pulled through with not just a new heart, but a new lease on life as well.
It reminded me immediately of the joy that comes from salvation in Christ. In the Gospel of Luke, Christ repeatedly tells his disciples what happens in heaven when even one sinner repents and begins a new life in him: “I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7).
And again just a few verses later, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10).
As if that wasn’t enough, Jesus then follows that with the parable of the Prodigal Son, perhaps the Bible’s most powerful story about the joy that comes from the reunion between a sinner and their heavenly Father.
I think for those of us who’ve known our Lord for decades now, it can be easy to forget just how incredible the miracle of salvation really is. A human heart finding eternal life in relationship with the Triune God is the most joyful event possible, and it kicks off an outpouring of celebratory joy and worship in heaven every time it happens. Heaven throws a party! Isn’t that amazing?
But here’s what’s just as amazing: we can participate in that same party each and every day, by remembering the miracle of our own salvation, and celebrating accordingly. We’re called to live lives of joy in Christ, and when we take a moment to stop and think about how blessed we are to know him, our response should be like Amari’s: one where we dance for joy!
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.