I am so fortunate to have grown up and married into a family that enjoyed and celebrated humour. I have so many fond memories of sharing laughter with my family and my wife’s family. I believe the Bible wants us to celebrate laughter as part of who we are - people created in the image of God. The Book of Proverbs, 17:22, reminds us “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a persons strength.” (NLT). Sometimes it is hard for some folks to picture Jesus laughing but I believe He did on many, many, occasions as He celebrated living day to day in His Father’s will. I have often said that humour and laughter are like the balance beam a tight rope walker uses – they help us stay on track as we navigate the challenges and stresses life brings our way. As Solomon says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) During this season of our lives, in appropriate ways, I believe God wants us to enjoy humour, laughter, because it is “good medicine.”
Laughter releases endorphins that help us relive stress. Laughter decreases anger. Laughter helps us with emotions like anxiety and grief. Laughter relaxes us and lifts us physically and emotionally. Laughter can change our perspective and laughter can bring us joy and motivate us to love.
So why not try some good medicine. Think of something funny that you have done today or a past event and have a good laugh. Watch a movie or television show that is humorous and have a good old laugh. Reflect back to a day and a time when you experienced the joy of laughter and celebrate it again.
In these challenging times, may laughter lighten our load and may it encourage us in the grace of God. The great theologian Karl Barth once said, “Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.” In an existential way he may be right! May we celebrate it in a Godly fashion and may it help empower us, and heal us, as we journey day to day.
Stay safe and keep in His love – Pastor Ralph