Aside

I don’t mean “the Gospel is a joke” in a pejorative way. I mean it in a metaphorical way:

  • When you hear it, you either get it or you don’t.
  • You can explain it and explain it and explain it and people will still not get it.
  • Sometimes after years of not getting it, something happens in your life that makes you say, “Oh, now I get it.” We call this feeling an epiphany.
  • You can tell by the quality of their laughter whether or not people get it. Some laugh along because they think they’re supposed to. Some assume that to be good, the joke must be at someone’s expense…
  • …but the best jokes are not told at anyone else’s expense. The best presentations of the Gospel contain no malice or contempt.
  • Sometimes you hear it so often you stop laughing. But maybe one day it sneaks up on you and you get it again, and you start laughing and can’t stop.
  • Sometimes you laugh so hard it hurts. Sometimes you laugh through your tears.
  • Sometimes you hear it and it’s not funny. Sometimes it’s the delivery. Other times it’s your attitude.
  • Something about being with other people who get it makes you laugh that much harder. Sometimes a group of you start laughing and you can’t stop, because you keep each other going. These moments of joy are when you feel most strongly that life is good, that this is a slice of heaven, and you want it to never end.
  • Sometimes when you try to tell it, it’s not funny. Usually it is because you are trying too hard. The best humor and the best Gospel emerges from being authentically human.
  • When you tell a really good joke, nobody stops you by saying, “Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” because it’s worth hearing again.
  • Sometimes you don’t laugh, but you smile inside.

 

The Gospel Is a Joke

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