Today’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

It was my second day in New Jersey and I was terrified. I had moved to strange and unfamiliar territory and I didn’t know a single person. That day, I sat in a large hall full of people, all of whom seemed to know each other, preparing for grad school orientation to begin. The girl I was sitting next to and I began to chat and share basic information about ourselves, but discovered that our accents made it very difficult to understand one another! The orientation began, still I tried to understand where this girl was from! Soon, she began to laugh quietly because of how puzzled I was. Her laughter was contagious and soon, we both had to leave the room because we couldn’t stop laughing. After that, we were fast friends and ended up being roommates for most of seminary.

Comedian Victor Borge once said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” Humor has the amazing ability to help us build fast and meaningful connections with others because it is related to joy and hospitality. Our scriptures call us to be hospitable – to welcome the stranger, to foster relationships with our neighbors (both those who are like us and those who aren’t), and to support and lift one another up. My friend Bailey showed me hospitality and welcome that day as she lightened my heart in the midst of my sense of overwhelm. Her joy and laughter were a reminder to me of God’s joyful presence.

Think of those people who have made you feel welcome. Think of the people who can cheer you up when you’re having a bad day. What qualities do they have and how might you shine those qualities for another who needs your hospitality?

“Humor can get in under the door while seriousness is still fumbling at the handle.” – G.K. Chesterton