Sadly, there has always been a segment of the religious world that has been deceived into thinking of God only as a humorless, grim taskmaster, a group that only allows solemn and serious representations of Jesus. These folks seem to believe in a God that is modeled more on an abusive parent than the God of the Bible! But this is the Savior who turned water into wine, who made fun of the Pharisees: “You who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!” This is the God who named Abraham’s son “Laughter!”
The laughter of bullies, the laughter which seeks to make fun at others’ expense, is not the laughter we’re talking about. It is the contagious laughter of joy, the rejoicing of a happy heart bubbling forth. This laughter happens best when we are together, when we are in a group of friends whom we trust and care about – that should tell us something! We don’t laugh at God, we laugh instead at ourselves when we are foolish and we laugh with joy at the wonderful things that God has given us. If we take ourselves too seriously, if we take the human side of our institution to seriously, then we are in grave danger of not taking God seriously enough!
Another whom we miss is Jeanne Carter, who passed into the more immediate presence of the Savior last year. Jeanne was dying of advanced COPD, struggling for every breath — but still she loved to laugh! During the last weeks of her life, she had been bedridden in the care of our local hospice. But she was not going to miss Holy Hilarity Sunday, even if it was the last thing she did. She called her doctor, and told him in no uncertain terms that he had to make whatever arrangements were needed for her to be at church one last time — and it had to be on Holy Hilarity Sunday. And when the organ prelude began, (a variation on the Looney Tunes theme) there she was, seated in her regular pew — albeit in pajamas and with her oxygen mask — but she was there, and she enjoyed the bejeebers out of the jokes. It was the last thing that she was able to do outside of hospice.
Listen to the Trinity Moravian Choir’s anthem for Holy Hilarity Sunday 2009 – “In Praise of Coffee!”
For more information on Holy Humor Sunday, visit http://www.joyfulnoiseletter.com/hhsunday.asp