Summer in Dallas is hot. Too hot for some. I agree, although it’s sort of been a welcome break for me since I moved back to this area after living in swampy Washington DC for a few years.
I’ve read about all those statistics out there, like how people are likelier to commit murder when it’s hot (at least in New York). But summer is also a great time to party, to live with joy, to celebrate with friends and family in the sun, by the lake, at the park, or wherever. So while the heat is taxing for a number of people, it’s also prime time for being active with friends and family.
Where do you stand? Do you dread Texas summers or find it the best time for you to do the things you love to do?
To carry us through our summer and into the fall, we are launching a sermon series intended to take our minds of the heat and on to the joy of life. Think of it as a way to turn this opportunity of celebration into a spiritual exercise in joy. Instead of grumbling about the rising temperatures, we invite you to laugh with us. And with God.
Does God laugh? There are plenty of theologians, preachers, and spiritual practitioners who think so. I happen to think so, but yeah, it sounds kind of goofy. Many of us have the idea of God as some sort of Zeus-like dude in heaven with lightning bolts in his fists, even though that may not be anywhere near the truth. It’s hard to imagine that kind of God laughing.
But a God who is present in our lives, especially when we least expect it, in moments of deep joy and sorrow – that God just might be able to laugh. Sure, God may not be human, but God knows what it is like to be human. That guy, Jesus, that lived powerfully in the Spirit of God, laughed a lot, and many claimed that he was God made flesh on earth.
Perhaps another clue comes from the Bible itself, which tells us a lot about God. That’s why Rev. Deborah has picked out a variety of passages that seem to suggest God has a pretty big sense of humor. We begin with Genesis 18, the story of Abram and Sarah this Sunday.
Come make this summer one of celebration, one of laughter, and one of new understanding of the God who walks with us through our lives.