“A person’s attire and hearty laughter,
and the way he walks, show what he is.”
“A pastor, a priest and a rabbi walk into a bar…” How many times have you heard some variation of that? And you knew what was coming next. Oh, maybe not the exact words, but you knew that a joke was coming, and you listened with an expectation of laughter and fun around the corner.
Today, July 24th, is National Old Joke Day. Take a moment to share a joke with a friend or neighbor. Laugh with a family member. Laughing, reports WebMD, changes us physiologically: “We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues.” (http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/give-your-body-boost-with-laughter)
I believe Jesus loved to laugh. If you look at the stories of his life, he’s always eating out with people. From Pharisees to sinners, Jesus loved to belly-up to the table and break bread. I can’t imagine his doing that without letting out a good belly laugh at some point. Whether as host or guest (or meal!), Jesus came eating and drinking and, I think, laughing.
So in the midst of all of our serious study of Scripture and commitment to prayer, let’s take time to gather at the table with friends. Remember that God’s first act was one of delight and pleasure – to create a world that would bring delight to the Lord. Let’s be intentional about creating special celebrations, laughing together, rejoicing in each other’s presence, and giving thanks to God for the delight of this day. Then, before you clear the table, turn to your neighbor and ask them if they’ve heard the one about the pastor, the priest and the rabbi.
Prayer: God of laughter and joy, who made us for your pleasure and delight, I pray that my life will bring a smile to your face rather than a frown. Help me to approach the world with the same delight and joy with which you made it, and to rejoice at the wonder of your love in my life as you rejoice at my love for you. Amen.