Tragedy or Comedy, What’s the Story?
March 23, 2009, 21:35
Filed under: Uncategorized

comtrajI have had the conversation, “Does God have a sense of humor?” many times.  There are too many examples of  “coincidences”  in my life that are so ironic only a loving God could set them up.  I have been served my words and my judgements on a silver platter so often it is my the “blue plate special”  at the diner of my life.   These meals have not been served with bitterness,  but with a kind, and  merciful side dish of love. 

I feel God is a master of humor.  From talking donkeys to Jesus’s commandment to the formerly blind man,  “Don’t tell anybody“,  there are things in the bible that just break me up.  A woman telling David that her husband is well named,  Adam and Eve hiding from God,  you got to laugh.  If the bible does not give examples of God’s humor to you,  what about His creation?  For every majestic creation like the eagle, there is the comic relief of the dung beetle, and other than divine funny bone, how do you explain the duck-billed platypus.?  Or my life? 

I view my life as a comedy, not in a shallow sit-com sense, but in a Shakespearean context.  A tragedy and a comedy both have elements of pathos and humor,  the real difference between them is the outcome.  A Midsummer Night’s  Dream”  has an ending that leaves the spectator with a much different feeling than does Hamlet.  The final act of the life of a follower of Jesus the risen Messiah is to be risen like Him and spend eternity with God  worshiping and praising Him, so based on that final unending act, no matter what takes place between now and then,  life is a comedy.  

This attitude helps me fight depression and gives me a positive outlook on others.  No matter how bleak the current state of events,  my faith in the coming of Christ in power and glory lets me concentrate on the final act.   As I minister to others with various degrees of effectiveness, and especially when my frustration levels climb to near the point of despair , it is good that I may get some distance and observe from the second row the play that is unfurling.  One of the theatrical presentations now appearing at Dayspring is the story of B. and M.  These are two guys who have attended services,  Bible studies, and even participated in work days and ministries, but have yet to make a public confession of their belief in Christ,  or to show that true repentance has changed their lives.  So far that is tragic.  The comedy is that they each think they are counseling the other.  

I get detailed reports from M. that B. is “coming around”  and “doing better” , and corresponding reports from B.  that he “had a long talk with”  M.  and that he sees signs of “improvement”.  Each has adopted the other as a ministry.  Now on a secular, earthy level, I am sure this is a positive thing,  but as a pastor I see the blind leading the blind.  The good part is they have bonded and are beginning to care about someone other than themselves.  There is undoubtedly progress toward a less self centered existence.  The bad news is that each feels superior to the other, considering himself a minister, and the other a ministry.    I receive these reports with great interest nodding and saying , “Oh, yes”  in a therapeutic manner as self disclosure is always an element.  The comic element is the seriousness of the report.   One would think that spiritual enlightenment lurked around the corner,  but in the last two years  or so there has been no great advancement.  The progress reports each gives the other has been mostly positive.

I am not posting anything I have not told these guys,  but like good actors on the stage they seem ignorant of the voice of the narrator as they move through the scenes of life. When I am with them, whether separately or individually,  I speak of Jesus and how he gives meaning and direction in life, how the Holy Spirit guides in wonderful ways,  how God can make a message out of a mess,  and how someday, sooner or later,  they will meet with Jesus, and at that time He will judge the quick and the dead.  Better to be quick than dead.   I read evangelism books where the hero speaks to the subject for five minutes and, Praise God! , the sinner is face down on the floor begging Jesus to save him from hell.  This does not jive with my life experience.  

So we watch the drama unfold.  Is it a tragedy?  A comedy?  If the dynamic duo described above realize Jesus is Lord and Messiah, and understand that serving Him is the true purpose of the believer,  then what a wonderful comedy it has been!  We will laugh at these two as if they were Laurel and Hardy, or Aykroyd and Belushi.  But if they continue to bob and weave around the stage, when the final curtan is lowered, what a tragedy it will be.  Two talented warm hearted men accompanying each other straight into Hell , each convinced he is somehow serving the other. 

Pray it is a comedy.  I hate sad endings.


15 Comments so far
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Why is there hair growing out of my ears and on the side of my ears while it is thinning on my head?
There could absolutely be no evolutionary reason for this so it must be a joke.

Comment by Rob

We Lutherans can’t stand that kind of “doing better” talk. It’s so easy to get the piety radar going and…well…that’s not where you want to be.

Or waiting for the public confession of faith.

What’s that worth, anyhow?

God’s Word will go to work on their hearts and doesn’t need any help from them.

Comment by theoldadam

I love this post. I can so identify. God has laid a few punchlines on me as well. But your post has a song going through my head now. It is a song by Chris Rice called “Big Enough” that starts with the lines:

None of us knows and that makes it a mystery
If life is a comedy, then why all the tragedy

Comment by jeofurry

Still praying for you, floods are no joke.

Comment by willohroots

Mat 10:32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
Luke 12:8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:
Rom 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Phl 2:11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
1st john 2:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
2 John 1:7 For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
TheoldAdam, so you are the Lutheran who does not recite the apostle’s creed? It is very important, extremely important. Most churches find it so important that they begin worship service with a statement of belief, Nicene creed or the like.
I am going to find that Chris Rice song!

Comment by willohroots

“… so you are the Lutheran who does not recite the apostle’s creed? It is very important, extremely important. Most churches find it so important that they begin worship service with a statement of belief, Nicene creed or the like.”

Yes, it is important. We do recite a creed every worship service. It is important. It expresses our beliefs and reminds us of them.

But we aren’t saved by it.

We use the creed for the Word that is contained in it. That Word saves and keeps us in faith.

The Creeds help to keep us grounded in the essentials of our faith so that we don’t go floating off hither and yon into the project of the self.

I like your comments, Willohroots!

Comment by theoldadam

I confess that I have listened to Joel Olsteen a couple times on TV. I also confess that as I listened to him….. I thought it was a miracle when the Lord caused an ass to speak but would be more of a miracle to cause one to shut up.

Comment by Ike

theoldadam I am beginning to see why Lutherans drink beer, you drive each other to it! Just break down and admit that a confession of faith is important, will you? It is! No one is saying the confession saves, but it is in the mix some where. These guys have not indicated in any way that they believe the creed, or that they have been affected by the life, message, death , and resurrection of Jesus. It is worth more than silver or gold to be able to confess, as you do every Sunday, the beliefs of your heart. Remember when you drive each other to drink to have a DD.

Ike, I can’t get started on Joel. You are a pleasure to have around, keep up the sharp comments!

Comment by willohroots

Hey Will, I forgot about this verse which I always felt shows that our Lord does have a sense of humor.

“The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass, his master’s crib, but Israel doth not know; my people doth not consider.” (Isaiah 1:3)

Comment by Ike


The confession of faith will follow on’e belief…naturally. Why worry about it? It is a sin to worry, anyway.

When God’s law and his gospel are preached…and it’s believed…the believer will confess.

Sometimes we want it so bad, and others sense that WE WANT IT…they will just say it. So they’ll just fot in and not LOOK LIKE an unbeliever. same for speaking in tongues or any other outward “sign” of belief.

That is why we don’t engage in such folly. it is not only a waste of time…it is counter-productive and helps creates phonies or self-righteousness.

Comment by theoldadam

Go tell your pastor that you really do not know what to believe. When he puts his shotgun down He will straighten you out. Not every one who hears believes. Even when Jesus called Lazarus from the tomb, there were some who did not believe. The sad truth is that not all come to know the Lord.

Comment by willohroots

Right on, Will!

That is exactly right!

The only reason we hope hell will be empty is that we know we deserve to be there too!

We know that many, many, many, will be there.

But it ought give us no joy.

Comment by theoldadam

God took a woman who wouldn’t teach boys over thirteen, and whose knees knocked when she sang a special, and made her a song leader, the put her in the pulpit.

Oh yes, I’ve felt that sense of humor.

Comment by Shawn W

the church is full of tragedies. some are events. others have names.

Comment by graceshaker

Graceshaker, you are one deep running river.

Shawn, I really want to hear your story, the whole thing! Buy the way, Junia, Junius, ring any bells?
theoldadam, you just inspired a new post.

Comment by willohroots

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