Text: Luke 5:33-34
Then they said to him, ‘John’s disciples, like the disciples of the Pharisees, frequently fast and pray, but your disciples eat and drink.’  Jesus said to them, ‘You cannot make wedding-guests fast while the bridegroom is with them, can you? (NRSV)

When I was very new to ministry and still going to school, working full-time in another line of work, and the part-time assistant pastor at a large United Methodist Church, I remember one worship service where during the sermon, the organist’s elbow must have slipped from its wresting place and landed firmly on a bank of keys on the keyboard.  A loud discord of notes blasted into the sanctuary from the organ for just a quick second.  It was all I could do to contain myself from laughter, but within a fraction of a second, I realized that the Senior Pastor who was preaching, and the congregation who were listening, never flinched.  They continued with the somber looks that were on their faces as if nothing at all had happened.  This verse popped into my mind as the service continued on.

It seems to me that, in my experience growing up at least, church was the least fun place to be on the entire planet.  We kept still, we held deadpan looks on our faces, we sang songs in tempos that seemed to drone on all while contemplating the “joy of salvation”.  What an ironic discord that felt like.  I think Jesus is saying the same thing in this text.  How can you live a stoic and somber life when you are in the presence of the bridegroom at a wedding reception?

If I’m reading my scripture correctly, God’s expectation is that we celebrate and enjoy life to the fullest.  That we dance, and laugh, and joke, and love, and appreciate the wonders of the world that God has created for our benefit.  And, when the organist’s elbow hits the keys in the middle of a sermon, we laugh out loud.

Pray with me.

God of love and God of laughter fill me with the joy of life that comes to one who has been loved by you and forgiven for their sins.  Empower me to enjoy all that you have provided and to laugh my way through life until I come into your presence with glory.  AMEN.

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