Pastor’s Ponderings: The Gift of Laughter

Posted by on Jul 15, 2021 in Pastors Ponderings, Worship & Prayer | 0 comments

Pastor Jim submitted the following thoughts on 7/15/21…

 

Greetings Friends…
 
 
PLEASE READ: Proverbs 17:22

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

PLEASE READ: John 16:33

(Jesus said) “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world” (NLT).

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Clearly, we are living during very intense and challenging times.  There seems to be pressures everywhere we go in life. There are so many things happening in quick fashion throughout the country, the world, and in many of our lives that it is hard to keep up. These swift moving events can leave us feeling frustrated, uncertain, and even fearful. These outward circumstances can challenge us and our faith that we become distracted, even lament about so much, that the Biblical mandate of being joyous is forgotten (see Psalms 100:1, Psalms 98:4, Psalms 98:6, John 15:11, John 17:13, for example).  Click the tabs to see these verses… 

Psalms 100:1-2

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!   Worship the Lord with gladness.  Come before him, singing with joy.

Psalms 98:4

Shout to the Lord, all the earth;  break out in praise and sing for joy!

Psalms 98:6

With trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn.  Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

John 15:11

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

John 17:13

Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy.”

Quotations from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

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Many scholars and theologians throughout Church History have suggested how they believe that Jesus was a happy person and had a sense of humor.  God meant our life to be joyous, and this is a joy which remains inside regardless of what is going on around us (see Ecclesiastes 3:12).  It has been suggested by one Christian counselor that, “A good sense of humor never hurt anyone, and it has made life blossom like a flower in the desert for many.”  President Abraham Lincoln wrote, “If I did not laugh from time to time I would surely die.”  Who lived during a more frustrating, challenging and even disappointing time than President Lincoln?

Is it possible that we live in a world which needs to learn how to laugh again?  Proverbs 15:30 says, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
 
That said, I think we would all agree that weddings can be times of real intensity.  Yet I always try to counsel couples not to be so uptight that they forget to laugh and enjoy the moment.  Despite all of the planning and rehearsing, something almost always happens which was “unplanned.”  I recall two weddings from my ministry which I hope will provide you all with a smile today!

At one wedding, there were two flower girls who were to walk down the aisle, one tossing red rose petals and the other tossing white rose petals.  Rather than walking together the younger of the two flower girls walked behind her sister.  The older sister tossed her red petals just as we rehearsed and instead of tossing the white petals, the younger sister picked up the red ones and put them in her basket! Everyone present laughed and enjoyed the moment.

At a different wedding another humorous event took place.  A single flower girl carrying white rose petals was walking down the aisle.  Now she had been instructed and we had rehearsed that she would toss the petals as she walked down the aisle.  As she was coming down the aisle, perhaps frozen by the moment, she was not tossing the petals.  People were trying to give instruction with comments such as, “Throw your petals,” and “Hurry up and throw your petals before your reach the minister.”  As the flower girl reached the front of the church it was clear that she had heard, “throw your petals” and “minister.”  She reached the front of the church, stopping right in front of me, grabbed a handful of rose petals, and covered me with them!  Some people looked on in horror and all I did was break out in loud laughter! It was an unexpected, unplanned moment which broke the tension and allowed the spirit of joy to flow freely.

Friends, is life tough, challenging, even unfair at times?  Yes, it is.  Do things happen to us in life which make us unhappy or do not go along as we want them to?  Yes.  But God has given us the gift of laughter to break the tensions, ease the moments, and help us.  The choice is yours and the choice is mine: do we laugh or lament?

Shalom,

Pastor Jim
 

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