|Portrayals of Jesus (Public Domain)|
Although many focus upon the depiction of Jesus hanging on the cross, others have stressed the importance of “Jesus Laughing.”
This jovial portrayal of Jesus, with his head thrown back in a burst of humor, balances the tragedies of life with its joys. If God did not want humans to experience the joys of life, then why did He create flowers and colorful sunsets?
Humor, therefore, is not inherently disrespectful. When deliberately used to belittle others, it has no place within a worship service. When instead used to lighten people’s heavy hearts, even during such solemn occasions as funerals, it can be the best medicine that God ever concocted.
NPR reports that a Catholic priest in the Philippines, who rode a Hoverboard while conducting a worship service, was recently suspended for “attempting ‘to get the attention of the people’ in a personal manner.”
In a sense, isn’t that what preachers do? Many include personal anecdotes that illustrate the points being made. Congregants tend to relate better to such sermons, rather than to straight-up lectures.
If this priest chose to playfully address his listeners in a more physical manner, is that so qualitatively different from verbal humor? Or is it that we’ve become so far removed from bodily worship that it somehow seems sacrilegious?
Just as God created flowers and sunsets, He also created human bodies. God valued these bodies enough to place His Son within one. Why, then, not utilize this precious gift within worship? Why not dance, sway, stomp, clap, and – yes – even jump on a Hoverboard, in the name of the Laughing Lord?
Copyright December 31, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved