If you need a good Scripture exercise, grab your concordance and look up all the verses with the word “rejoice”. Here are a few:
Psalm 13:5-6 But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me.
Psalm 48:1-2 How great is the Lord, how deserving of praise, in the city of our God, which sits on his holy mountain. It is high and magnificent; the whole earth rejoices to see it.
Romans 12:15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
We join with creation to proclaim God’s goodness. We hold tightly to hope as we rejoice in suffering, in the hard and challenging times. We celebrate with one another, just as we mourn with each other in loss.
As I walked my way through my Bible’s list of “rejoice” passages, I was struck by the communal aspect of this word. There’s something so powerful about striving for joy and celebrating the Father’s goodness in community.
There are so many ways we do this at Velvet Ashes, but I get to talk about one of my favorites: Connection Groups.
There’s something amazing about the fact that five or six women—complete strangers in the beginning—can gather from various parts of the globe to meet together for ten weeks. But I’ve watched as sweet conversations have flowed. As sacred space is created for honesty and vulnerability and encouragement.
Connection Groups create a place to rejoice together as we seek God’s Kingdom and celebrate His diverse creation and calling, and our unique personalities and giftings. These groups are peer-led, which means that every voice is important and needed.
This spring session we have groups for anyone serving on the field to join through a variety of different platforms, like Skype, messaging, email and Facebook. Do you want to connect with other singles who are serving cross-culturally, other moms with young children, women in your region of the world, or other women who get cross-cultural marriage? We have groups for you. We have groups for those who are preparing to launch to the field, are newly arrived, and for those who are walking the journey of re-entry back to their passport country.
In our line of work and life, sometimes we rejoice over things that don’t make sense to other people—finally getting a visa after months of red tape, a really successful conversation with a taxi driver, scoring what you need in one grocery store run, a glimmer of hope that change is coming after months of prayer.
When you gather with your global sisters, they understand the weight you carry, the sacrifice, the joy that comes, even if their circumstances are very different.
Connection Group registration is coming very soon! It will open on Tuesday, March 10th at 6:00 PM EST. Groups will begin the week of March 15th and run for ten weeks through the week of May 17th. Head over to our Connection Group page to check out the groups offered this session and to learn more about what these groups are all about. There’s a spot for you.
What are some of your favorite “rejoice” verses? What does it mean for you to rejoice in community?