Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)
Rejoice comes from the Latin word Laetare. We are called to rejoice because God’s mercy is boundless, infinite, abundant and His love is extravagant. In John 3:16, Jesus says that God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son so that those who believe in Him may not perish but may have eternal life. This is the most quoted and memorized verse and considered to be the heart of the gospel of John. The love of God is called Agape in Greek which means working for the well being of others. God did not spare His Son, Jesus from death so that we are spared from death. He does not hold back anything from us even His only Son to lead us to the goodness He desires for us. By His wounds we are healed. By His blood we are saved. Death has no power over us anymore because it does not have the last word. God has always the last and ultimate word. Rejoice because Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save it. The name Jesus is Greek which means Savior and in Hebrew, Joshua which means Yahweh saves. He speaks and acts in the person of Yahweh. To believe in His name is to embrace the truth and remain in the light. It is to make the choices, vision and values of Jesus our own. It is to embrace a new way of life, a change of lifestyle and to live in the constant presence of God. In Hebrews 11:1, the author says that faith is the assurance of things hoped for and proof of things not seen. To believe is to be convinced that something is true and to put our trust in it. Rejoice because when we believe in Jesus, we gain eternal life not because we are worthy, not because of what we do but because God’s love is unconditional. God grants eternal life to believers here and now. We possess it today because our relationship with God begins now. In John 17:3, the author reveals that eternal life is to know the only true God and Him whom God sent, Jesus Christ. Rejoice because Jesus reveals to us the extravagance of God’s love by His supreme self sacrificial actions on the Cross. To believe therefore is to surrender ourselves completely to our God who is our Father and who wants the best for us. We are then empowered to become His  children and be agents of His love and mercy in the world.