Does the church take itself too seriously? That was the question posed to me the other day. I have found it a really difficult question to answer. As a church, I believe we are dealing with the eternal destiny of every person in our community. That sounds to me like pretty important, serious stuff. However, we are also supposed to be a place where the joy of the Lord is front and centre. One way of expressing joy is to laugh, have fun and share in not taking things too seriously.
I know from personal experience that my desire for humour and fun has got me in trouble in the past. I remember telling a joke at one church about Moses playing golf with God and Jesus. Honestly, it was a very funny joke but after the service, the churchwarden came over to me accusing me of blasphemy by taking the Lord’s name in vain. It ended up with me having to write a letter of apology to the person to try and clear the air. Still, think it was funny though!
The reaction from everyone who attended Broadmead’s Got Talent last Saturday would suggest to me that we are a church that doesn’t take ourselves too seriously but is that joy always there when we gather each Sunday?
Now that can be for several genuine reasons and there is nothing worse than someone trying to make you feel joyful when you have had a really bad week. It leads to falseness and us faking it.
In the Message Translation, Micah 6:8 says – ‘And don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriously.’
I wonder if we did embody that verse whether we would all know more joy in our lives. We can all be guilty of taking ourselves too seriously and the ability to laugh at ourselves is an important gift to have. Those who can do that seem to laugh more, delight in the smallest of things and don’t compare themselves to others. That seems to be a good place to be.
So, let us be a place where we are serious about God, caring deeply for each other but are willing to have a right old laugh together, often at ourselves – to allow joy the run of the house and even smile occasionally.
And finally, as the old saying goes. Do you know how to make God laugh? Tell him about your plans!!
And really finally….
A teacher asked the children in her Sunday School class, “If I sold my house and my car, had a big garage sale and gave all my money to the church, would I get into heaven?”
“NO!” the children all answered.
“If I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would I get into heaven?”
Again, the answer was “NO!”
“Well,” she continued, “then how can I get to heaven?”
In the back of the room, a five-year-old boy shouted out, “You gotta be dead!“