I love to laugh. Show me Chris Farley falling into a coffee table and I’ll show you a gleeful pastor. I’m certainly not the only one. Comics are big business and many of us are more than happy to give our money to someone who can make our faces hurt.
Sometimes, however, we deem it inappropriate to laugh. Certainly, laughter that mocks or indicates superiority over another distorts a great gift of God. But when I was younger I heard it said that laughter in worship is not appropriate. It’s insensitive to those who may not feel so joyful. Is it insensitive to laugh when suffering is everywhere? This Sunday’s Genesis reading may help.
In Genesis 21 God does an incredible thing. God makes the impossible happen for a woman named Sarah. When her miracle comes she can’t help it, her joy takes over. She laughs freely and completely. But should she? What about all those for whom miracles didn’t come?
I’ve prayed for miracles that haven’t happened, have you? I’ve prayed for prolonged life for loved ones who are dying and that some broken relationships may heal. These miracles didn’t come. Should Sarah laugh when I can’t? I can’t speak for you, but I NEED Sarah’s laughter.
Sarah, in the midst of her miracle, says it all, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me” (21:6). God gives Sarah laughter so that others may hear her and join in! Sara laughs that others whose miracles have not come may renew their trust in the Lord. Sarah laughs that ALL of us may experience God’s miraculous love.
When you feel God’s joy, laugh! Laugh that all may hear you! Let it out, please! Renew our trust in the Lord!
See you Sunday…