It is only as joy that the Church was victorious in the world, and it lost the world when it lost that joy, and ceased to be a credible witness to it. Of all accusations against Christians, the most terrible one was uttered by Nietzsche when he said that Christians had no joy.
Let us, therefore, forget for a while the technical discussions about the Church, its mission, its methods. Not that these discussions are wrong or unnecessary—but they are can be useful and meaningful only within a fundamental context, and that context is the "great joy" from which everything else in Christianity developed and acquired its meaning.
"For, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy"—thus begins the Gospel, and its end is: "And they worshipped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy." (Lk. 2:10, 24:52). And we must recover the meaning of this great joy. We must if possible partake of it, before we discuss anything else—programs and missions, projects and techniques.
—the Rev. Alexander Schmemann