Then our mouth will be filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy;

then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.

Psalm 126: 2, 3

 

 

Living a righteous life in full view of a world that is at best apathetic and is more likely antagonistic is serious business. This can become stern, grit your teeth and put your shoulder to it work. Yet, my mental images of Jesus are not all that serious. I imagine Him with a look of love and compassion, I see Him with his arms open wide in a gesture of welcome that prepares for an embrace, and I contemplate Christ smiling and laughing with those around Him. I think that Jesus probably greeted a skeptical world with a smile as his first words; then, perhaps, He let out a disarming laugh at a moment of natural humor.

 

We are beings that were made with the capacity for humor and with a need to laugh and to smile. God created us that way. I think that He enjoyed the smiles and the laughter of Adam and Eve in those pre sin days in the garden. I think that God loves to hear us laughing with the fearless joy of living the life that He has called us to live. The contagious sound of laughter as it ripples like a stream through the hurried noise of life has a soothing and a restorative effect upon this stressful world.

 

Our faces are the most visible indicators of our heart’s condition, and our voices are its expression. Just as God is saddened by our sin, He is delighted by our joy. Sometimes it requires planning and purpose to smile. Some days are not so naturally filled with laughter; however, expressions of heart-deep joy can be present on our faces if we seek God’s peace and plan to show it to the world. When smiles and laughter come from the center of your being, when Christ is their source, the Lord will shine out from your face. His truth can speak more clearly through joyous laughter than through the most insightful use of words. This is a world full of people who are longing for laughter and seeking after a smiling face; so, we can make it so that the face that they see is Christ’s image shining through His own people.