Karl Barth was the most important Swiss theologian of the twentieth century. He is best known for his landmark commentary The Epistle To The Romans.
But he is also remembered for this uncluttered saying, “Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.”
Think about that for a moment.
When was the last time you saw someone’s face brighten with delight?
When was the last time you were awed by someone’s generosity?
When did you last notice a brilliant sunrise or glorious sunset that God painted just for you?
Psalm 100 is a psalm of thanksgiving. It opens with this equally uncluttered precept:
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Psalm 100:1 NLT
Not just me. Not merely you. Not even just the pastors and theologians.
All the earth.
Not only a nod of acknowledgement.
Not just a head bowed in reverence.
Not merely bringing a sacrifice of praise.
Don’t those sound respectable, like so many of our appropriately holy churches on Sunday morning?
We are told to cheer and whoop and roar and bellow our joy, our wonder, our elation, and our glee to the Lord!
Because we serve more than a satisfactory God.
We serve an awesome, shocking, incredible, fascinating, and astonishing God!
Today—shout. With joy. To the Lord.
Yes, shout. Even when—especially when—it’s a bit awkward. Even when—especially when—you ain’t feeling it. Even when—especially when—everything is going to crap.
Whoop or holler or yawp to the Lord.
Or take a page from Karl Barth’s book, and simply say “Thank You!” out loud.
Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.