Do you have a sense of humor? Sure you do. Can you laugh with others and at yourself? I’ll bet you can. To my mind, a sense of humor and the gift of laughter are blessings we are endowed with by our Creator God. But humor can be cruel and laughter can be derisive – yet another way we manage to misuse God’s gifts. We are accustomed to reading the Bible with utmost seriousness. Yet can you find humor in any of the biblical stories? I always chuckle when I read the story of Paul’s extremely long-winded sermon from Acts 20. “Paul talked with them,” writes Luke, “and continued speaking until midnight.” A young man named Eutychus was sitting in a window and went to sleep while Paul droned on and on. (Do you think young Eutychus was the only person in the congregation nodding off?!) Then sleeping Eutychus fell out of the window. They thought he was dead. Paul finally stopped talking, and bending over the young man, he reported him to be alive. “He’s okay,” Paul said. The boy was taken away by some of the congregation. Paul continued preaching until dawn!
In the midst of this often serious business of life and taking the Bible seriously, appropriate laughter is a sign of hope and joy. The psalmist understood: “When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy . . May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy.” (126:1-2, 5-6)