Dear brothers and sisters,
“God will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouting.”—Job 8:21
As we continue through the Easter season together, I wanted to share a tradition from church history that has been revived in many churches recently: Holy Humor Sunday. It is usually celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter, also known as Bright Sunday.
The customs of Bright Sunday, come from the idea that some early church theologians had that God played the ultimate practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. Easter was God’s supreme joke on death itself—the risus paschalis—or Easter laugh.
It has traditionally been celebrated in many European countries with games, picnics, pranks, and practical jokes. Churches today are getting in on the fun—featuring skits, silly songs, and pranking the pastor during the service.
While some may resist such things as sacrilegious, Holy Humor Sunday celebrates the joyful side of life, and of God. We worship a God who takes delight in joy and whose first miracle was in fact turning water into wine to extend the life of a party.
Too often, I think, these fun-loving aspects of God are eclipsed by solemnity and seriousness. We live in a serious world and deal with serious things on a regular basis. That must not be ignored or made light of. But in the midst of such serious issues, let us not forget joy and laughter.
This Eastertide, I invite you to join me in celebrating the fullness of who God created us to be. Let us find our joy in the Lord, and let us celebrate the ability to laugh, even in the face of death.