Sunday, April 7, 2013

Laugh it Up...Thoughts on Something Distinctly Human

Let your heart by merry.

-Judges 19:6

Some people think it is difficult to be a Christian and to laugh, but I think it’s the other way around.  God writes a lot of comedy, it’s just that he has so many bad actors.

                                    -Garrison Keillor

At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.  

-Jean Houston

Humor is a prelude to faith and laughter is the beginning of prayer.

-Reinhold Niebuhr

Laughter, joy, play and frivolous nonsense are things very close to the core of the real Christian religion and the purpose of human life.  It is an article of faith that God invented pleasure and that the forces of opposing pleasure are in fact opposed to God.

I do not like seriousness.  I think it is irreligious.  Or, if you prefer the phrase, it is the fashion of all false religions.  The man who takes everything seriously is the man who makes an idol of everything: he bows down to wood and stone until his limbs are rooted as the roots of the tree or his head as fallen as the stone sunken by the roadside.

Taking oneself too seriously causes us to forget the great commandment: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.  In enjoying God-given pleasures we are loving God; in letting other things destroy that enjoyment we are putting those things before God.

It is not only possible to say a great deal in praise of play; it is really possible to say the highest things in praise of it.  It might reasonably be maintained that the true object of all human life is play.  Earth is a task garden; heaven is a play-ground.  To be at last in such secure innocence that one can juggle the universe and the stars, to be so good that one can treat everything as a joke—that may be, perhaps, the real end and final holiday of human souls.  When we are really holy we may regard the universe as a lark…that extreme degree of holiness which I have postulated as a necessary preliminary to such indulgence in the higher frivolity.

Joy, which is the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian. It should be a high compliment to a man’s spirituality and imagination to say he is a little giddy.

In anything that does cover the whole of your life—in your philosophy and your religion—you must have mirth.  If you do not have mirth you will certainly have madness.

-G.K. Chesterton

Laughter is the foundation of reconciliation.

-St. Francis de Sales

It’s one thing to say, ‘I don’t fear death’, but to laugh out loud somehow drives the idea home. It embodies our theology.

-Rev. Laura Gentry

Laughter is God’s hand on the shoulder of a troubled world.

-Bettenell Huntznicker

The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.

-Mark Twain

When you laugh, aside from the endorphin rush, there’s also a spiritual opening. You’re not so tight inside yourself. That opening I’ve found to be a real gift, in people being able to absorb spirituality.

                                    -Rabbi Sydney Mintz

Laughter is carbonated holiness. 

-Anne Lamott

If you wish to glimpse inside a human soul and get to know the man, don’t bother analyzing his ways of being silent, of talking, of weeping, or seeing how much he is moved by noble ideas; you’ll get better results if you just watch him laugh. If he laughs well, he’s a good man…All I claim to know is that laughter is the most reliable gauge of human nature. 

-Feodor Dostoyevsky

When you laugh, you get a glimpse of God.

-Merrily Belgum

When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.


A joyful heart is good medicine. 

-Proverbs 17:22

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