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"Laughing Jesus"

Psalm 4:6-8

Many are asking, "Who can show us any good?” Let the light of your face shine upon us, O Lord. You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound. I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

As we all know, life can get pretty overwhelming. Perhaps you have found yourself like I have, sitting in a chair staring blankly as the world goes by. What we are looking for, who knows? Peace of mind? Maybe an answer to boredom? Maybe searching for answers. Maybe we are looking for some sort of peace out there, some kind of consolation.

In my church office I have a picture of Jesus laughing. I love this picture. It makes me happy to think of the Savior taking a moment to enjoy something humorous. I am a firm believer that Jesus experienced a full humanity, and I think laughter was part of that. Our most common images of Jesus are of him doing something very serious and holy…which is quite the contrast of this particular image of Jesus on my wall, with his head thrown back in laughter. It’s as though one of the disciples just told him a really great joke. I truly think God has a sense of humor and I think Jesus laughed often, enjoying the delights of life. I think our God is not just a serious and somber god, but one who can help us to press on through that which is difficult to find delight on the other side.

The Psalm written above is kind of a mixed bag, much like life: both sorrowful and joyful. In fact, it might be a little overwhelming. All around us people are looking for peace and answers to life’s difficult questions, and we are there among them doing the same thing. But the answer is in “the light of your face…O Lord.” The psalmist comments on how the Lord fills us with greater joy than times of wealth (“grain and new wine abound”). He is all the security we need. He is where the peace is, He alone provides solace and resolution.

I suppose this sounds very “pie in the sky” finding joy and comfort from a laughing picture of Jesus. And maybe it is. Yet there is truth in the knowledge that we find peace in Christ, delight in Him, and hope for whatever lies ahead. His promises hold us through those tough spots and pull us out the other side not just as survivors but JOYFUL survivors. Hang in there. Lean in on a laughing Jesus and laugh a little; it will lighten your load.

God you are the God who-sees-me. You know us inside and out. You know our joys and our sorrows. We cry out to you. We look to you for joy. Help those who have not laughed in so long to find delight again. Help us, even in our troubles, to see you with your head thrown back laughing. With you, we can make it through anything. We praise your holy name! Amen.

Keep the Faith,

Pastor Michelle

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