Back in 2011, I began my Easter sermon at Pinnacle with a joke:
A passenger in a taxi leaned over to ask the driver a question and tapped him on the shoulder. The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb, and stopped just inches from a large plate glass window. For a few moments everything was silent in the cab, and then the still shaking driver said, 'I'm sorry but you scared the daylights out of me.' The frightened passenger apologized to the driver and said he didn't realize a mere tap on the shoulder could frighten him so much. The driver replied, 'No, no, I'm sorry, it's entirely my fault. Today is my first day driving a cab.... I've been driving a hearse for the last 25 years.'
I don't remember where I got the joke, nor do I really want to remember. But I do remember why I told it, because there's an old tradition about Easter in some parts of the church, that on Easter believers should go out of their way to laugh.
We're supposed to laugh the laugh of resurrection in the face of death, which is meant to be a laugh against the Devil.
I'm told that Martin Luther once said that the best defense against evil (or as he said it, the Devil) is healthy laughter. There's something to that, so much so that even a bad joke can get a belly laugh on Easter.
We're still in Lent, though, which is meant to be a more solemn, reflective, even quiet time. I hope you find Lent that way, but I also hope that if you're taking the time to experience all that Lent can offer your spiritual life you're also remembering—deep in your spirit—the joy that waits for you.
So now, even in Lent, this might be a word about Easter worth remembering.
Embrace the joy of life in Christ even through the harder parts of your life—not to deny pain or difficulty, but to remember that Christ is sovereign and raised from death, and that he is with you every moment. He is Risen!
Let's live that truth—with a quieter chuckle now, and a hearty laugh on Easter!