Are You Giving God A Good Giggle?

If the capacity for fun is God given, one can only wonder what tickles God’s sense of humour. If mortals can see the amusing side to difficult situations, it is a safe bet that God is wonderfully able to do the same. Surely heaven must rock with the laughter of God as He ponders the antics of His people.  If being serious is His only option, He is worthy of our sympathy more than our worship.

What might trigger the heavenly howl of delight?

  • How often does God giggle at our sermons? When we labour over some theological nicety partly confusing ourselves and mostly confusing our people, is there not half a chance that He may be ready to chip in with “You’re confusing me too; for goodness’ sake just tell them that I love them.”
  • Or when we preach on a roll at great length. Do we hear him saying, “Oops, there’s another one who’s just nodded off. Thank goodness his name’s not Eutychus and he’s not sitting near a window,” or “That’s the third roast about to be become a burnt offering.”
  • Or when we lose our train of thought. May be He chuckles, “Glad that happened; that sermon wasn’t going anywhere anyway.”
  • And what about those leaders’ meetings? The ones which go around in circles when the big issues are on the agenda? “If that mob covers that point once more, I’ll burst. Just get on with it and do something” or “I think we have some new contenders here for circuit riding champions.” Surely God must want to send in a localised earthquake occasionally to shake us on our way or at least alter the topic of conversation.
  • Or when our people engage in gossip over each other’s short comings. “Go easy there my friend, I know a few things about you that they don’t know. Would you like me to drop in a few hand grenades about you just for good measure? Won’t do much for your reputation but it will surely even up the score here.”
  • Or when misunderstandings occur and hassles come as a consequence. “How could they possibly get into such a mess? This is a remedial group if ever there was one. This is worse than when I pulled the plug on Babel. Can’t wait to see what happens next.”

The humour of God:

  • Kangaroos, camels and monkeys are good signs of the humour of God at work. So are some soloists, music groups and new songs. Add to that a deacon or two and you begin to get the picture.
  • He also has a funny habit of dropping a brand-new believer into a group of stuck-in-the-rut Christians. The sacred cows begin to look a touch ill as innocent questions are asked about why things happen the way they do. There are guffaws of delight in the ramparts of heaven as the new arrival’s enthusiasm rattles the cages of routine and regulation.
  • Many a worship service must bring a smile to His face. Take Mrs Brown’s favourite hat and young Sally’s green hair for starters. Or if one more slide on the digital projector goes upside down again, or even sideways, He will surely tremble with some amusement. There’s nothing quite as funny as an entire congregation with their collective heads on the same angle trying to read words which are anything but horizontal. Ah, yes, if old Moses had one of those instead of his stone slabs, we could have saved ourselves some effort.
  • How about the time the pastor dropped the youth leader in the deep end? When the pastor absent mindedly delegated the reading of the morning’s Bible passage to his unsuspecting young friend forgetting that somewhere about verse 10 were listed the twelve tribes and their descendants? The theologically cautious thought the gift of tongues had arrived by default. But that’s what happens when you run Zebulun, Issachar and Naphtali close together in the one nervous breath. That reading took about twice as long as it should have. It also took out a three gong award with that great cloud of witnesses.

God’s funny friends:

  • Come to think of it, God has funny recruitment policies too. He seems to get high on calling the rough and ready, the not so smart, the ingenuous, the losers. His Human Resource Department is not heavily into IQ tests, tertiary qualifications and buckets of money and acres of power. He obviously is turned on by the simple people pulling off the big ones for Him. His hall of fame boasts ship builders (where there was no sea), nomads, the odd prostitute or two, the tricky operators plus some fishermen, tax collectors and general fanatics. Let Him run a business like this and He would go under for sure. He’d never get an MBA. But that’s how He got His own multinational under way.
  • And what about those parties he turned up to? He surely must have got a marvellous kick out of the wine-from-water episode at the wedding reception in Cana. Did Jesus straight face His way through that bash with Matthew and his mates? Hardly. We can guess at what happens when you get a bunch of tax collectors together. And all the other wheelers and dealers. There was plenty of noise that night, you can be sure. Did he only engage in deep and meaningfuls with Zacchaeus at Zak’s post tree climbing debrief? Joy and fun were rampant on that occasion. No doubt about it.
  • Whatever you do, don’t forget His friendship with those fishermen! How many times did they yarn about the big ones that got away? Those stories have been around for as long as there have been fishermen, you can be certain. All the more reason why Jesus happily filled up the nets: none got away then. No room for tall stories there. He one upped them that time.

God’s smile:

  • God’s smile. It is around us everywhere. He grins when we long for explanations which He is deliberately saving up for when we finally get to His place. He will have some wonderful stories for us when we check in. After all He can see the end from the beginning so He knows when to laugh with us and when to cry. He knows how often we are preoccupied with the heavy stuff and longs for us to stand back and see the essential joy, the lighter side which is usually there somewhere.
  • Yep, it’s tough on the road but make no mistake, this journey has a marvellous destination. Nothing less than a reclaimed world with brand new bodies thrown in for good measure. And, yes, there are meant to be laughs along the way. This not so serious God wants us to enjoy His salvation but He has great plans for us to enjoy His laughter too. It’s time to relax and see the funny side a touch more frequently. If He can, so may we.



Rev John Simpson