I think whenever we here the phrase, “We plan, God laughs,” we think that God is laughing at our plans, at the same time shaking his head and muttering, “you silly people, you know nothing!” Which can be true, but what if we think that whenever we plan, God is enjoying our plan and laughing in excitement? Instead of thinking that there is some overbearing God who is altering the lives of His lowly subjects, we have a God who is with us, in our plans, making miracles possible.
It has been about a bit over two months since our church doors re-opened for regular worship. It was the first time since March, the beginning of the pandemic, that we opened. What was our decision to open? It took careful thought and careful planning, and a whole lot of prayers, and gathering of resources. This wasn’t a sudden decision, but a well timed plan in order to assure that our sanctuary will always be safe and secure. We would not open if we felt that it couldn’t be done or that there were too many intangibles that we couldn’t control. But when have had a lot of planning and a lot of meetings, trying to figure everything out and it was important that we were all on the same page.
We made a lot of extra precautions in order to have worship. It’s different, but at least we are able to come together in God’s house! So, yes, we plan, and God laughs! Not laughing to make fun of us, but laughing with us, enjoying the right, precision kind of planning we have set forth. God is laughing with us and sharing in our joy to be free to worship. Laughter, yes oh laughter, how much we need it right? And what better place to find laughter is in the church. Well to see one another, and share a good story, make people smile, make people laugh. Sometimes doing worship is not just about what we do during worship, but before; the fellowship of shared laughs. And who knows, even in worship, we can enjoy laughter, because laughter might be the closest thing we have to find God present in our lives.
I learned tonight at the presbytery meeting, thanks to Rev. Scott Andrews (McVeytown Presbyterian Church) the correlations between hilarity and holiness, and better yet, how laughter and faith can be intertwined. Laughter is power, because it shows that we can roll with the punches that life gives us. Instead of being all pouty and frustrated, laugh, shake it off, and get going. Scott, remarkably quoted theologians who stressed on the importance of laughter when is comes to the Christian faith. My favorite one was, “Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.” Or one by Martin Luther, “If I am not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.”
I truly think that Martin Luther is right. If heaven is without laughter, there is no joy, and possibly the absence of grace. Barth, says, that laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God. First we have to understand what grace is. Grace is a gift of God that offers assistance for us to be sanctified, made sacred, to be purified, set free from sin. I would also simply say, grace is the love of God given to us. Grace is liberating, and what great way to show our liberation is through happiness and laughter.
If you want, share some quotes with us that is about laughter in the comments. Or better yet, share laughter with someone you care about.
Dang… this could have been a good sermon…
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).