Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Another Devotion? On Humor?

     I joined the full-time faculty at North Park in August of 2014. Until then, I had written exactly one homily in my sixty-one years. At North Park, department and faculty senate meeting begin with a devotion/prayer. So, each year since, I have had to write one or two. Truth be told, when it is my turn, I struggle with them. It is tough to find a topic or theme. It is a challenge to find the appropriate Bible passages. Lastly, it is equally challenging to write a good prayer that is authentic, meaningful, respectful, and of value to those hearing it.
     For some reason, I was asked to prepare three of them in the past five weeks. I have done it twice for our School of Business and Nonprofit Management. The first was for our faculty retreat in late August and the second was yesterday. The third which was the subject of my last blog, Overwhelming Perspective, and for a Faculty Senate meeting a week ago.
     I have actually started jesting that I am considering enrolling in the North Park Seminary as I am writing so many of these. I have learned something, actually reminded of something is closer to the truth, in writing these three devotions in short order. The more I do them, the easier the become.
     So, here I am posting another devotion on my blog. This one is on Humor. I seem to be getting bolder in my theme choices as I do more of these:
     God is indeed the creator of our universe, our planet, and we are reminded that we are created in his image.
     Sometimes, I listen to folks talk about God’s will. Often it in reference to an illness or tragedy that has befallen us, a loved one, or even a group of people. Perhaps it is God’s will. Perhaps it is the nature of creation where tribulations and good fortune are random variables that are part of God’s design. This whole probability thing? That is for my next devotion.
     At other times, I listen to folks talk about being a Christian. The talk and message is righteous, serious, but also refers to the joy found in accepting Jesus Christ as one’s personal savior.
     I rarely hear anyone talk about the role of wit and humor of God. If we are, indeed, created in God’s image and some of us are bestowed with the gifts of wit and humor, are these gifts not from God? Otherwise, the only conclusion is that we developed these traits on our own and they are not Godly.
     Humor and wit, even their playful cousin sarcasm, can help provide joy and insight when properly used. I have to note here, that while I think I am witty and humorous, I cannot claim that I am provide joy and insight with every lame joke and self-deprecation.
     Of course, I did an internet search on God and Humor, The Bible on Humor, and such. The result? A big fat dud. There are a few references that provide Bible passages mostly about joy and rejoicing… but not quite humor.
     I use what I believe to be humor and wit is to keep things in perspective and to provide insights. There is of course a time and place, but I want to emphasize that there is indeed a time and a season.
     A time and a season? Naturally, I turned to Ecclesiastes 3 (NIV):
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 
2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,  
3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,  
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 
7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 
8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
     Let us pray.
Dear Heavenly Father: 
Help us balance the serious and whimsical so that we may have the proper perspective on this gift of life. Allow us to see the divine creation in laughter and joy as much as seek your help and solace in times of illness and great sorrow. 
Help us to hone our wit and humor to make others feel better and happier.

Help us understand, Lord, that if we can master this balance, we may indeed be able to treat each other with more respect and greater dignity which for a group like our faculty, will lead to greater productivity and accomplishments. 
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
     I do believe this devotion and prayer were well received. We never had such a jovial faculty meeting!

No comments:

Post a Comment