Holy Liturgical Laughter

Tuesday July 23rd, Genesis 18:  Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already old and well advanced in years, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, "After I am worn out and my master is old, will I now have this pleasure?"  13 Then the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Will I really have a child, now that I am old?' 14 Is anything too hard for the LORD ? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son." There is some news in life where the only response one can muster is to either laugh or cry, and they both come from that combination of wonder and mis-belief that has one foot in our deepest hopes and the other in our deepest fears.  Is anything too hard for the Lord?  It appears not.  But for Sarah, with one foot in the nursing home and the other in the nursery, laughter was her only choice.  I have often thought laughter to be a proper response following the confession and absolution in worship.  Holy, liturgical laughter at the absurdity of our forgiveness, at our own frailty at the realization that this is the umpteenth time we have been forgiven for the same thing, and at the amazing response that is God’s grace.  Holy Liturgical Laughter. 


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