Friday, April 5th
Psalm 100 (NRSV)
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
“Laughter is the sound of the soul dancing.” ~Jarod Kintz
I am so fortunate to work with a ministry staff who genuinely cares for one another, supports one another, and actually enjoys spending time together. We all especially appreciate how often we laugh together! During our weekly staff meetings, we share ministry concerns, we tend to the work before us, we pray for our church and mission, and we plan the weeks ahead. Yet we still find moments to share a laugh or two. I find that after each staff meeting, I’m refreshed and renewed for service- and I truly believe that our laughter is one reason that I am. Pastor Michael has noted that our laughter is healthy and beneficial for us all. Laughter IS good for the soul!
Laughter is almost cleansing, an act of surrender, isn’t it? When we are joyfully laughing, we set aside the things that have weighed us down, at least for the moment. We open ourselves to a humorous comment or situation, allowing joy and happiness to flood in. We stop taking ourselves so seriously. We are gleefully present to these funny moments and the people who are sharing them with us.
God gives us so many reasons for joy. This beautiful creation. This life we get to live for all eternity. Our loved ones and friends, our companions for our journey. Healing for our wounds and comfort for our sorrows. Even our sense of humor. Most of all, God gave us Jesus, who fully loves, fully forgives, and fully frees us to live a life of joy.
And isn’t there something so inviting about joy? When our youth director Kyle was younger, he decided he wanted to be part of a church mainly because he saw they were having fun in worship. Now he is serving in youth ministry as a devoted follower of Christ. We are called to share the light of Christ’s love, and I believe that light shines best through our joy. Our joy and laughter demonstrate to others how we view the world in a new way, through eyes that see God’s love and glory all around.
Today- even in the middle of Lent- we can thank God for laughter… and for those dear ones who laugh with us.
All definitions are excerpted from the Merriam-Webster online dictionary at https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/
Photo credit: Aaron Burden on Unsplash