“Laughter is the best medicine.”
I’m sure you’ve heard that statement before. The reality behind that statement is that life can be hard. Life is unpredictable and at times overwhelming. However, life can also be beautiful! Life can be full of love and compassion. Another saying that is popular is that life is like a roller coaster. That is probably true as well—up and down, and everything in between. And yet, we still need to find time to laugh.
So, is laughter the best medicine? I’m sure the answer to that question is dependent on the one answering, but I do believe there is some truth in it. And yet again, there is also something missing about the statement. What I mean is that medicine usually comes from without (something we take to feel better), but the best kind of laughter comes from within! Usually, we laugh because something happened or was said from without and it makes us laugh within. Yet, why still laugh? Where does that desire originate? When something happens around us and it makes us giggle, why? Did God give us this desire for a reason? – Answer: YES!
I firmly believe that the truest and most powerful forms of laughter originate with the joy that comes from knowing God—especially God through the revelation of Jesus Christ. When I see or hear my son do something funny, yes, he is making me laugh. But the deeper joy behind that laughter is the absolute love I have for him and his uniquely comedic nature. That nature is something that God gave him. My response is something that God put on my heart. It’s a gift to us both. And in the process, we both laugh. Sometimes so hard it hurts. Which is wonderful! :-)
2016 has passed, and some people are happy about that. I keep reading and hearing that 2016 was a hard year for many. I do know that it was definitely a divisive year in our culture and country (and even the world). Yet, it is now 2017. God is still God and we are still His people. 2017 is a new day. A new opportunity. Have the world’s problems disappeared? Of course not! Yet with the New Year comes hope. A hope that this year will be better than the last. We all hope that, even if 2016 was good to us. We still hope the next is even better.
With this hope in mind, and this New Year upon us, I wanted to start off this Sunday by preaching on the subject of laughter. To talk about the spiritual importance to laugh. Most importantly, to reflect upon the idea of laughter from a Christian perspective—that even as things may seem like chaos all around us, laughter is there within us to help us. To relieve our stress. To bring some comfort to our souls. To remind us that God’s presence has not abandoned us.
So often we think religion is the antithesis of laughter. And maybe “religion” can be that, but faith is never supposed to be against laughter. As we will discuss this coming Sunday, faith is actually the inspiration behind the greatest and truest forms of laughter. Laughter is the best medicine. Sometimes that is indeed true. I also believe the healing power of laughter is already in us ready to be used and celebrated in our everyday lives. I hope you’ll join us this Sunday as we kick off 2017 with a Spirit of laughter that God has put on our hearts.
Let’s fill our souls with the medicine of joy!