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THE RELIGION OF DELIGHT.
By Austin Farrer
from pp. 136, 137 of A Celebration of Faith
ed. Leslie Houlden.  London:  Hodder and Stoughton 1970.
Christ attended a wedding.  What, then, was Christís concern Ė what is Christís concern Ė in the weddings of his friends?  We do not read that he laid down the law to them at that time, or told them their obligations Ė we read that he concerned himself with the supply of their wine.  It seemed a shame to him, if anything was lacking that could spread abroad delight.  The bride and bridegroom drank from the cup.  They passed it round, and their friends tasted the very flavour of their joy.  Christ would not bear to see the flow of happiness interrupted, for lack of wine in which to drink it.

Does this surprise you?  Did you not expect Jesus to be the servant of natural delight, the abettor of warm-hearted pleasure?  But have you forgotten what Christ is?  He is the desire of nations, he is the joy of all mankind: he came to take away the cold religion of duty, and to substitute the religion of delight.  We are to do our duty Ė yes, but we are to delight in it, for the love of our neighbour, and for the dear love of God.  There is nothing else but this, that we can hope for in heaven itself Ė nothing but to do good unalloyed by any meanness, and to do it with infinite delight.  And how shall we be able to do so?  By feasting on the vision of a face, whose eyes are the deep wells of happiness and love.

It is not surprising at all, then, that Christ should begin his ministry at a wedding: for a true marriage is a special favour of Godís grace, and a direct foretaste of heaven.  Godís glory is reflected, for those who truly love, in one anotherís faces; they see the Creator shining through his handiwork, and the vision inspires them with a simple delight in doing one another good, and in furthering Godís will.  Those who are being married know what they want to do: and it is exactly what God desires them to do.  They do not, as the rest of us so often must, make themselves care about the will of God: they do care for it: for they care for one another.