I would guess that 99% of the images depicting the likeness of Christ show him without a smile. You know what I mean, because you’ve seen them, too. The Serious Christ. The Sullen Christ. If I were to believe that Christ was as sullen as all of those paintings and images depict, then I would have to assume that Christian living is also devoid of fun. Thank Jesus, this is so far from the truth! Authentic Christians have fun!
I can’t imagine Jesus, as He welcomed the children into His arms, without imagining His smile and laughter, too. I can almost hear Him giggling with the little ones, enjoying their questions and their hugs. I can’t imagine the little ones running up to a man with a sullen expression on his face. Instead, I would bet that He welcomed them with an cheek-to-cheek smile.
Sometimes I can get so serious about life. I have to remind myself that Jesus came to give us an abundant life. He has given me the greatest joys, so much more than I could have ever dreamt of in my early years.
I used to be someone who didn’t even want a child sitting at a table next to me in a restaurant. I had no interest in kids. I don’t know why, I just didn’t. But thank God, that is no longer true. God changed all of that.
Today, I love it when the neighborhood kids hang out at my house or in my yard. I love laughing with them, talking with them, and trying to read what is going on in their little heads. I watch them play, and suddenly, all of my problems seem to fade away. Laughter has a healing quality about it.
God promised Abram and Sarai a special child with an wonderful purpose. Through this child, God would bless Abram to be the father of many nations, with descendants as numerous as the stars. Even more importantly, it was through this child’s lineage that God would send His own son, Jesus, to save mankind from sin. Abram’s child would be a child of great promise and hope. Incredibly, when this special child was born after a long wait, God named the boy “Isaac,” a name that means “laughter.”
That’s a strange name for a child of such promise. I have often wondered why God didn’t choose a more serious-sounding name, like “Brutus” or “Valdus.” But “Laughter?” Come on! Yet, the Bible says that Sarah (her name changed from Sarai) laughed at the promise of this son:
“Sarah said, ‘God has made me laugh, and everyone who hears will laugh with me.’”
Genesis 21:6 HCSB
I am so glad that God begin His redemption plan with good dose of laughter. The story reminds me that I, too, can be free to laugh, no matter how tough the journey is. After all, there is tremendous freedom in authentic Christianity!
He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with a shout of joy.
We were blessed this weekend with a North Carolina snowstorm. So there I was sitting on my sofa drinking coffee, a little tired after helping bundle up the kids to go play in the snow, when I thought, “Get out there and have some fun, girl!” So I put on some warm clothes and went sledding with the kids.
And I laughed, enjoying this rare gift and thanking God for so much fun! Enjoy this little video I took when I broke the news of downtown snow to the neighborhood kids: