Today’s Reading: Proverbs 17:22
Laughter, it’s said, is the best medicine. There’s lots of scientific evidence that laughter does great things for our bodies and souls! Laughter can reduce blood pressure and stress hormones, boost your immune system, raise your pain threshold, increase your job performance, and help you connect more deeply with others. It seems that in some sense, humor makes us human. It’s interesting that something so healthy, something that binds us together, is largely absent in the church. Think about it: when was the last time you laughed – I mean really belly laughed – in worship? A joke in a sermon can sometimes make us chuckle, but for the most part, worship is a serious matter. Faith is a serious matter.
I’m not sure, though, that this was how it was intended to be. Perhaps this stems from my belief that God has a great sense of humor. When I read the book of Psalms, which speak of God laughing and playing with sea creatures, it makes me believe that God has a silly, playful side. If one is open to it, one will find that the many of the books of the Bible, especially in the Old Testament, are full of wit, satire, and puns. It makes me think that God is funny! And when I look at the world around me and see wild animals playing and when I hear babies laughing, I am convinced that God intends for us to laugh, too.
This week, we will be looking at the role of humor in our faith. How might our faith blossom and grow if we took ourselves, the church, and even the Bible a little less seriously, if we could find more room to laugh? How might our relationships with God and one another grow?
“God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” – Voltaire