The United States Constitution affirms the people’s right to freely engage themselves in the “pursuit of happiness.” The New Testament — a collection of the greatest “self-help” books ever written — teaches people how to engage themselves in the “pursuit of happiness.” In so doing, the New Testament writers seem to be telling us that God has a sense of humor. The poet Robert Frost has expressed his understanding of this in a delightful couplet:
Forgive, O Lord, my little jokes on Thee, And I’ll forgive Thy great big joke on me!
God’s great big joke on us is that, in terms of ultimate reality, in terms of the kind of persons He created us to be, the pursuit of happiness is a trivial pursuit. “He who acts in truth comes to the light,” Jesus says in today’s Lesson. The Gospel truth is that we cannot achieve happiness by pursuing it. Happiness is the result of going after something else — something ultimate.…
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