Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Comedy Sunday

This is Comedy Sunday. The Greek word kōmōidía originally meant a stage play with a happy ending as opposed to tragōidia which evokes suffering and ends poorly. History’s great comedy is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the early Orthodox Church, the day after Easter, the people gathered to play jokes on each other and share funny stories to celebrate the joke that God played on Satan. Satan thought he had finally conquered the world, but the King still had another move: on the third day, the tomb was empty and Christ had risen. It was God’s final move putting Satan into checkmate once and for all.

Humor isn't the opposite of seriousness. Humor is the opposite of despair. Here are some thoughts about humor in the Bible.

The God of Isaac (Yishaq), which is translated as laughter, is the God of Israel. Conrad Hyers explains the humor associated with the previous sentence:

The history of Israel begins—if it does not sound too impious—with a joke, a divine joke. The laughter of Abraham and Sarah at this joke was not so much a laughter of unbelief as of disbelief, as when we say “You can’t be serious” or “You’ve got to be kidding.” Yet it was a laughter that became the laughter of faith. Abraham and Sarah would be less inclined in the future to declare the impossible. And their laughter, in turn, would become the laughter of faith and hope for generations to follow.

God gave laughter to Sarah. Sarah declared, “God has brought me laughter! All who hear about this will laugh with me” (Gen. 21:5, NLT). Sarah had stopped dreaming that she and Abraham would have a baby, but the Lord was gracious to Sarah and did for Sarah “exactly what he had promised” (Gen. 21:1). God later told Moses that “I am the God of your father—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exod. 3:6). The Hebrew reader understands that Laughter (Isaac) is the father of Israel (Jacob).

Looking forward to sharing this Sunday with you.

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