"Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.'" (Psalm 126:2)
"God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me." (Genesis 21:6)
"A smile starts on the lips, but a good laugh bursts forth form the soul and overflows and bubbles all around us."- Carolyn Birmingham.
This past week, I noticed that I had not had a really “good” laugh in a while and that I had been neglecting that part of my daily habits. For most of my career, I have included a daily dose of some sort of pun, short skit, bloopers, or joke to help me alleviate stress and enjoy the God-given gift of laughter.
Considering this deficit, I invited the North West District clergy to a “holy laughter” time in which all were invited to share a joke with the group. We laughed, groaned, giggled, and waited in anticipation for the punch line. This laughter was a welcome diversion from the negativity that bombards each of us. Think about what a difference it would make if we would:
- start each day with a smile
- find ways to incorporate laughter and humor into our everyday life
- be intentional about setting time aside to have fun, to relax, to enjoy the life that God has given us
- add laughter to your reading plan, even if it is a pun a day!
- look for the positives in life
- pray - invite God to help you lighten up your days with laughter and joy
- invite others to join you
I invite you to read these words from a Sunday school song as a prayer of joy, “It’s bubbling, it’s bubbling. It’s bubbling in my soul! There’s singing and laughing, since Jesus made me whole. Folks don’t understand it, but I can’t keep it quiet! It’s bubbling, bubbling, bubbling, bubbling day and night!” (Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs).
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.