Today is a contemplative day. I don’t know why, but everything I read this morning is weighing on my soul. Sometimes during my quiet time with God, nothing sticks. It seems like just another daily task I have to get through so I can go on to the next duty. I try journaling hoping to bring some profound truth that I may have missed by just reading a devotional or even the Bible. In fact, that is one of the things I wrestle with daily……reading the Bible more and really getting into it.
Here We Go….
I feel guilty because I don’t spend more time reading the Bible and really making an effort to learn, understand, and grow spiritually. Of course, everything I read in my quiet time is scripture based, and I do learn, and the author’s insights help me understand scripture in a way I might not otherwise. It’s a battle inside me that I don’t know what I am supposed to do about it. I have friends in Muslim based countries, and for them, the Bible is very precious partly because Bibles are hard to find and partly because the hope of the Bible is new to them and they crave it.
I know that the Muslims hope to take over the world, but that has never happened. I mean there have been a lot of people who expected to take over the world, and it never happened. Napolean, Hitler, Stalin, Custer, and the Christian Crusades and there have undoubtedly been more that I can’t think of right now. So today we have the Muslims, and the Clintons and the Obamas and they are still not any more capable than the others, they just haven’t figured it out yet. Oh yeah, and the tower of Babel was a primitive attempt to rule their world. Only God is sovereign. He is the only one who can rule the world and He will in His time. Until then we will have some bloodshed, and good people will die, and innocence will be lost to selfish pride and arrogant power hungry people.
When I am contemplative I also run down a lot of rabbit trails and the above paragraph is one of them. Sorry! And what does any of this have to do with laughter? Hmmmmm…
Back to my inner conflict with wanting and feeling a need to read my Bible more. I think what started the “rabbit trail” is that I wonder if there will be a time in the U. S. when we will not be able to buy a Bible so easily, or the ones we have will be taken away. I heard, but it wasn’t verified that they are already banning the sale of Bibles in California or maybe they are only considering it.
I admire people who memorize the Bible. I had a friend who smuggled Bibles into China, but the truth is she had so much of the Bible memorized that if she stepped into China, she had taken the Bible there. I admire that.
So, What’s the Point?
I watched the mini-series, Life of Jesus as told by Matthew. It was a great movie, and it touched my life. Of course, it is only an actor’s or director’s portrayal, but surely they researched what Jesus was like, comparing all the Gospel accounts and trying to be as real as they could be in his portral.
One thing Jesus is known for is love. Not love as we think of “love” in our fallen understanding of it, He would have extended perfect love and sacrificial love. It would have been a love that understands our frailty and God’s love for us in spite of our sin. And maybe that was what stood out to me is how Jesus loved in spite of our sin. He was playful and fearless to become involved with everyone even the leppers. I think that is what has drawn me to this portrayal of Jesus and has kept me thinking about it a week later.
We don’t hear about his laughter or his fun side. Yes, he was a man of sorrows, and the movie brought that out. He became quite sullen when he saw how people did not understand the love of God and how the religious leaders had masked the love of God with rules and laws that God never intended. Jesus knew the perfect love of God and the intention of the laws to protect the people physically and spiritually, and then he saw how they were misinterpreted to the people so that they felt more oppressed than free.
This is my point. God created laughter and playfulness and joy, and he gave them to all his creation, including us. Look how playful squirrels and foxes are. Look at the playfulness of a child of any species or race. Laughter is the best medicine, and I know that from experience. I worked in a hospital, and I can tell you that if I could make someone laugh at their circumstances, they immediately started responding better to all their treatments. The only ones I couldn’t make laugh were the elderly that had just found out they were going to be released to a nursing home rather than their home. Losing our freedom is sobering.
Jesus has come to give us life, and his purpose was that we would have life abundantly. He said that freedom is found in him. Freedom and abundant life and laughter are what we are meant to experience and– perfect love. All of those are found in Jesus. I don’t know if we can live in or express “perfect love” in our fallen state, but we can laugh, and we can help others laugh, and we can live free. We must never forget it.