Holy Hilarity: Lively Laughter
A small boy told a Sunday School teacher: “When you die, God takes care of you like your parents did when you were alive – only God doesn’t yell at you all the time.”
A woman invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to her six-year-old daughter and said, “Would you like to say a blessing?” “I wouldn’t know what to say,” the little girl replied. “Just say what you hear Mommy say,” the mother said. The little girl bowed her head and said: “Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?”
A Family Circle cartoon shows a mother rummaging through a desk while her son and his friend are talking. The friend says: “It doesn’t look good. If she can’t find your baptismal certificate, you’ll have to be born again.”
This humor and much, much more are taken from a publication called The Joyful Newsletter. This is a newsletter that has been published since 1985 by an organization called ‘The Fellowship of Happy Christians’. Their mission is simply to bring some levity – some holy hilarity – some lively laughter to the Christian Church. They think that the church can be too serious when the Resurrection of Our Lord is the greatest and happiest message the church is called to deliver. Christians who go around always looking sad, depressed, and burdened do not inspire others to join them at The Church of What’s Happening Now on the corner of Doom St. and Gloom Ave.
Of course we take seriously the portrayal of Jesus the Good Shepherd, carrying a lamb on his shoulders or Jesus knocking on the door of our heart. But why not hang a picture of Jesus smiling – even laughing! Surely Jesus had a full range of human emotions. And there were times when Jesus thought it appropriate to have a good time. Consider the following examples (just to name a few examples): Jesus creates wine at a wedding reception after all the prepared wine has been consumed; Jesus gives sight to the man born blind. I believe the Scriptures say the man jumped and danced for joy.
Exodus 15.20-21 states: ‘Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.” Sounds like holy hilarity to me!
We have just celebrated the end of the Easter Season with the remembrance of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. That first Pentecost was a chaotic day but a most joyful birth of the Christian Church. From now until the Sunday after Thanksgiving we are in the season of the Spirit. It is a season of Christian growth (hence the use of the color green). I think it is also a season that summons forth laughter and joy.
If you would like to read more about the Fellowship of Happy Christians, I invite you to search for it on the internet. Their sites are easy to find. Read and enjoy! Let us bring a little humor into our midst. Wipe those frown off your face; it is time for Holy Hilarity to abound.
+Pastor Paul Koch
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sheraden, 3102 Sherwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15204 412-331-0600