I had just collected my cash from the slot. A little disappointed with my account balance (displayed on the screen), I turned to walk away from the ATM. That’s when I heard it say: “Thank you for banking with us. It was a joy serving you.”

My immediate reaction? I turned and remarked, “But you’re a machine – you don’t have feelings!” After I had chuckled to myself at my smarty-pants observation, I couldn’t help but think further about that second line. “It was a joy serving you.”

At first I thought to myself that some folks at that bank must have felt those words would enhance customer experience, hence their inclusion at the end of a transaction. I did leave the ATM smiling after all. Then, I started to recognise my train of thought picking up pace, mental gears in my head turning and smoke coming out of my ears. Okay, I’m kidding about that last bit.

But yes, I started to ask myself several interesting questions (my brain does this to me sometimes – I believe it’s one of the ways the Holy Spirit works in me). For example, after people interact with me, do they walk away smiling? Perhaps feeling a little more joyful, since joy can be quite contagious? And on my part, can I honestly say I serve joyfully? Am I a minister of consolation to all?

Truth be told, the answers came easily and quickly. I was reminded that I am very much a work in progress, and that there have been times when I’ve been a better vessel of joy. Times I can look back on and strive to replicate.

We are an Easter people

Further pondering on this brought to mind the idea that I am part of an Easter people, individuals who should be filled with joy always, for there’s so much to be thankful for, not least the paschal mystery! I mean, Jesus died for me. He made a way to heaven for me. And His spirit continues to work through, with, and in me. If these truths do not bring joy to me, I’m not sure what will.

But of course, it’s easy to forget these things. So this Easter, my prayer for you and I is that we’ll be increasingly convicted by and rooted in this truth, that we are an Easter people. And amongst other things, that means that…

  • God wants us to be joyful. After all, the word ‘joy’ is mentioned over a 170 times in the NRSV Bible. That must tell us something.
  • We can draw from the bank of God’s love and life daily, in prayer. Or as Jesuit Fr James Martin likes to say, “Holy people are joyful. Why? Because holiness brings us closer to God, the source of all joy.”
  • We strive to live and serve joyfully, so others may come to be attracted to our Lord. In the words of St Katherine Drexel, “We must attract them by joy in order to lead them to its source, the Heart of Christ.”

Meanwhile, I can’t help but wonder if God whispers this as we approach Him every day with our needs, whatever our balances of good and evil deeds are with Him: “Thank you for coming to me. It was a joy serving you.”

Top photo: Easter Vigil 2017 at Church of Christ the King

Keith is a fool, a fool for Christ. Presently called to explore different ways truths can be communicated creatively, he is constantly surprised by God and His creative power. Current interests include comedy and drama.