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Sunday, February 7, 2010

2/7/10 Ecclesiastes 3:4, Mathew 11:18,19 The Laughing Jesus

2/7- “There is a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:4)

18For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon.' 19The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners." ' But wisdom is proved right by her actions."(Mt 11).

Today is Superbowl Sunday. There are some who will not watch it, because they do not want to be polluted by the evils and extravagance of our culture. No one has to watch it. I don’t know that it will enhance anyone’s spiritual life (despite Tim Tebow’s ad- and by the way- a similar thing happened to our son- we were told to abort him by the experts because he might be downes’ syndrome). Yet, the superbowl itself is harmless, as long as we take it for what it is- just entertainment- a game. I have some liberal friends who wince at the violence of football. I have some puritan friends who will not watch it because there is more serious and pressing issues in the world- children dying in Haiti, children kidnapped in Uganda- how can we possibly waste our time? There are parts of the Superbowl and our entertainment-oriented culture that disgust me. I would think the charitable workers who are sacrificing so much in Haiti or the Sudan or the missionaries should be more celebrities than these 350 pound mammoths. But then again… there is a time to laugh… there is a time to dance. Is there not? Life is a gift from God to be enjoyed. This is the day the Lord has made- let us rejoice and be glad in it. Jesus only had three short years of ministry. How could he take any of it out to attend a wedding? Why didn’t he produce bread for the hungry- when there were starving people in the world- why did he have to make wine? Don’t people lose jobs, families, sanity over wine? Still he did. In some ways we are more pharisaical than the Pharisees- for they didn’t complain about that. Wouldn’t he have been more effective by eating and drinking with the rich and famous of his day than the sinners and tax collectors? John Calvin wrote a lot, was sick a lot, but still found time to sail his boat on Lake Geneva- on a Sunday. One of my favorite pictures is the laughing Jesus (which I first saw in a persecuted Cuban Presbyterian Church). Take time to laugh- even though there is much to cry about. Take time to dance even though there is much to mourn over. I think the Spirit gives joy- laughter- and even inspired David to dance- maybe the Superbowl Shuffle?

Prayer: This is the day you have made, O Lord. Help me to rejoice and be glad in it. Give me grace to dance and laugh a little.

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