Rev.  Jan Bihl
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When will this be over? How much longer will this go on? When can I get back to ______? 

I don’t know about you, but these thoughts and questions are always somewhere in the mix of what my mind is up to.  Today I was dreaming of being in Tofino…boogie boarding…which is where we were supposed to be this very week! But none of us knows how long this “new normal” will go on.

 So…while we wait, let’s keep coming back to God at the Center.

One way to do that is to allow the rhythm of the spiritual seasons of the church year to shape our practices.

We are presently in the Season of Easter – which is 50 days!  And the first week is Holy Humour week… So here goes…

Why do cannibals not eat clowns? Because they taste funny!

I love that one! It’s so old, but it never fails to make me chuckle. The first time I heard it, I doubled over! I’m sure you have jokes and stories that do that for you. Or cartoons that make you laugh because you just “get it” and it puts a lovingly funny slant on a well-known story.

Why am I telling you/showing you this? Because I think this year, especially, we could use some good chuckles and belly-laughs…and, it just so happens that there is actually a Sunday in our liturgical year that is a special time for laughter. I know…who knew?

It’s not a joke. Some of the early Christians made the first week after Easter an intentional time of joy and laughter and parties and picnics to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. It all culminated in Holy Humour Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter.

This Easter time feels like a very good time to “resurrect” that tradition.

As we’ve said for years, “Laughter is good medicine.” Ancient wisdom of 3,000 years ago in the book of Proverbs 17:22 says that a merry heart is good like a medicine. We even have a much-loved hymn: VU#624 – Give to Us Laughter!  Moreover, health professionals know that laughter changes the body chemistry…releases good endorphins…boosts our immune system. It’s a prescription for opening the heart to more love – and there are unlimited refills. And…we only have to look at children to really “get” the benefits and to learn how to do it. Children laugh often – in sheer delight!

Now here we have an opportunity to begin the celebration of the 50 days of Easter - yes, Easter is not just a day…it’s a whole season in the church – with the health-inducing practice of laughter.

Now there are a few guidelines to this, so it will take some thought. As you can imagine, the jokes and stories need to be ones that could be told in all company in all generations…that lift up everyone…not at the expense of anyone. As parents and teachers say regularly “If it’s not fun for everyone, it’s not fun.” 

So…let’s dig up our best jokes and stories…and spread them around on purpose this weekend as part of the celebration of Easter. Some of my favourite clips are from the Carol Burnett show, like the one called “I’m not a doctor,” which seems humorously fitting for today.

Enjoy!