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I 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.
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