“Then our mouth was filled with laughter.” (Psalm 126:2)
Laughter has all sorts of benefits for us physically as well as mentally. I sometimes wonder whether we laugh enough, and some of my corniest jokes are an attempt to help people to have a laugh and receive the benefits. There is even a form of therapy that involves laughter and humour, which is used to relieve pain and suffering. Apparently, even fake laughter can help.
Sometimes I wonder why Christians/Lutherans don’t laugh more. When we consider what God has given us, we have so much to be happy about. We live in a beautiful world. We have people around us who care for us. Here in Australia, we have a lot of freedom to think and act as we please, and we have access to excellent medical care. Many of us have a high standard of living, and we have the best coffee! So why aren’t we laughing and leaping for joy?
Maybe in the next 24 hours, you can share some laughter with a few people and see how good you feel. The people in the psalm have experienced something that seems to have been too good to be true. The response by the psalm writer is that people acknowledged what God had done for them and they rejoiced — just as we will rejoice when we can gather with family and friends who we haven’t been able to see for many long months during the pandemic. Just imagine how good that will feel when we can be with them, touch them, hug them and talk to them without having to go through some sort of electronic device.
There is a Yiddish proverb, “What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. You wouldn’t want to go without soap, would you?”
Joyful God, help us to see the joy in life and fill our mouths with laughter. May there be others with whom we can laugh, too. Amen.