WS Update: Communal Joy

July 26, 2021

Last month psychologist Adam Grant wrote an essay entitled “There’s a Specific Kind of Joy We’ve Been Missing” in which he reflected on the importance of communal joy. He wrote that human emotions are “inherently social.” He goes on to write:

We find our greatest bliss in moments of collective effervescence…a concept coined…by the pioneering sociologist Émile Durkheim to describe the sense of energy and harmony people feel when they come together in a group around a shared purpose (like) the synchrony you feel when you slide into rhythm with strangers on a dance floor, colleagues in a brainstorming session, cousins at a religious service or teammates on a soccer field. And during this pandemic, it’s been largely absent from our lives.

As we look forward to more fully gathering together in September, Grant’s observation reminds us that “going to church” is more than turning off Zoom and coming through the doors at W83 to listen to a sermon or see friends. It is about entering into God’s presence who is Father, Son and Spirit – an eternal community of joy. We were created to be together with one another and God in worship, to experience a divine collective effervescence that renews our humanity and restores our purpose. There is a lot of inertia to overcome as we reweave our church community after the last 18 months, but it starts as we enter God’s presence and listen to one another sing, confess and celebrate the joy of being known and loved by God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
     Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come before him with joyful songs.
 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
— Psalm 100:1-3