Laughter, Hope’s companion

Published 9:06 pm Friday, February 10, 2012

By Chris Surber

I never would have gotten through it, had it not been for a sense of humor.

How many times have you heard those words? I have uttered them myself many times. A properly attuned sense of humor is evidence of a judicious mind.

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The heart that seldom finds occasion for laughter will doubtlessly be found chambered within a person who has little to offer the world around him or the God who created him.

One of the tools I routinely use in my work as a tour guide on this journey we call life is Christian comedy. I regularly plan and coordinate comedy events of every kind.

Whether it’s a “Laugh Your Socks Off” event to collect warm winter socks for the homeless or an “Even God Giggles” fundraiser for a local charity, I have found comedy to be an invaluable tool for reminding people that God not only desires to save and transform them, He also fills us with joy when we know Him and His love.

Speaking of the rejoicing that comes in the new life that God gives to His children, the prophet Jeremiah writes “From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing.” (Jeremiah 30:19 NIV)

I know what some of you are thinking. “Sure, God makes us happy. So what? Religion is serious business. Who needs all that frolicking and carrying on from comedians at church?”

I’ve met more than a few crusty curmudgeons in my day who would rather scorn than smile.

There has perhaps never been a more serious, profound and influential theologian than the Protestant reformer of the 16th century, Martin Luther, and here’s what he said on the subject of laughter: “If you’re not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.”

Praise is a form of worship to God. Laughter is evidence that a heart is filled with praise. Laughter is a kind of medicine with no co-pay. It is an anti-anxiety medicine with no side effects.

Laughter is hope’s companion. It is at once the evidence, the nourishment and the consequence of joy.