Overwhelmed with joy! Will you say that with me? Overwhelmed with joy! Our scripture reading this evening says that the Magi were what? They were “overwhelmed with joy” when they saw that the star had stopped over the place where the child was. I love that turn of phrase, “overwhelmed with joy.”
I love maybe even more the more literal translation of the King James Bible. It says, “They rejoiced with exceeding great joy.” Say that with me – they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. It feels good just to say it, right? Joy in the mouth.
Slightly different emphases in those two translations. “Overwhelmed with joy” sounds like a flood of joy has risen up around you and swept you away. You were taken captive. You lost control. Joy is active, we are rushing down its river. “Rejoiced with exceeding great joy” puts us back in control. We decide that we’re going to glow in the dark, and our light will be joy. We sing, we shout, we high five, we unlock the bands around our hearts and let them free, let then rum around in the yard and jump up on the company. It’s a party and we’re letting joy hang loose.