Am I the only one who has known the misery of getting tickled in a worship service and being unable to stop it? Something about “not being allowed” to laugh in a somber service just makes it all the harder to get myself together! And there’s no place to hide; everyone can see me jiggling with giggling! The harder I try to pull it together, the funnier it all seems. I remember times as a teenager when I really thought I might rupture an internal organ trying to suppress a laugh!
Who came up with the not-laughing rule anyway? Is there a scripture verse that disallows it? The more I learn about the scriptures, the more humor I find! If it’s there, wouldn’t it be a sign of disrespect not to laugh?
As we’ve worked through the minor prophets in worship this summer, we’ve come across some dark and hard texts, but the book of Jonah is a comedy. It’s not included in our Bibles to make us feel bad about not going to the “foreign mission field,” and it’s not a children’s book. It’s a scathing satirical comedy that fits more along the lines of Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, and even Saturday Night Live.
Come join us for worship this Sunday prepared to laugh – yes, in church. Out loud. It’s not a question of whether that’s ok. The question is whether we have the maturity and humility to be able to laugh when the joke’s on us!