The first evidence of human laughter is the story of Abraham and Sarah who at an old age were promised by God to become the ancestors of great nations:
Genesis 17:15 God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sar’ai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed , and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”
The writer of Psalm 8 reminds us of two things: that children’s words can be stronger (and often funnier) than any human enemy and that our place in creation of almost comical – when you really think about our place in creation.
Psalm 8:1-5 1 O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; 4 what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? 5 Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.
The wisdom writer of Ecclesiastes knew that there was a time for everything in human life.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh ; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
And Jesus told his disciples to take courage and be a good spirit in times of challenge in this life:
(RSV)John 16:32-33 32 The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave me alone; yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said this to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer , I have overcome the world.”
And from the gospel of Luke’s record of Jesus’ great sermon on the plain, Jesus includes the gift of laughter in his beatitudes and blessings:
Luke 6:21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
1 Corinthians 1:25 For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
Visit Holy Humor Samples for a few examples of jokes to get you pumped for Holy Humor Sunday!