Ecclesiastes 2:2 “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?”
I like to laugh. A funny joke, amusing story, or some old-fashioned silent slapstick movie usually have me creasing with laughter. I also love being in the company of family and friends, when we share funny stories, do daft things, and tell corny jokes. Even during some intense and awful moments in my life, laughter helped to heal my pain. The Bible tells us that a cheerful heart is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22); I can think of no better way to create a cheerful heart than what is produced by laughing.
Sometimes, when I read the Book of Ecclesiastes, I get the feeling that the writer missed out on life by not being able to loosen up, lighten his spirit, and laugh at himself. He comes across as serious and somber as Hamlet or Macbeth in a Shakespearean play. I wish that he had learned the secret of happiness – to be content with what he had and to enjoy the life God had given him. Perhaps if he had, then Ecclesiastes might have been a brighter book instead of being a torturous tome at times.
As we embrace a New Year, perhaps we should seek to follow a new mantra:
Live well, Love truly, and Laugh often. J
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to laugh at ourselves frequently, so that we can truly learn to love life. Allow us to enjoy the company of others – our families, our friends, and our church folks. May we show our faith in You by sharing joy and laughter each day. In Your Holy Name, we laugh and pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to respond to this message, please send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today’s image is one of John’s cartoons. If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: Wise Men.