Summary: The church of Jesus Christ needs to be filled with therapists who dispense laughter and happiness to all they come in contact with especially at Easter.
Be Happy- part 2
Thesis: The church of Jesus Christ needs to be filled with therapists who dispense laughter and happiness to all they come in contact with especially at Easter.
Introduction: Today is Easter! It’s resurrection Sunday! It’s a time to rejoice and Be Happy! Why you ask! Because we celebrate that Christ Jesus rose from the dead and we need to Be Happy. Christ Jesus is not dead He’s alive! He’s alive and I’m forgiven and that’s a reason to rejoice and to put on your Happy face. It’s a reason to do a little Irish jig.
Catherine Doherty states, ‘The Gospel of Christ’s resurrection fills the heart with joy! A triumphant love song is already begun.” (182).
Overhead: Put up cartoon on empty tomb!
We started last week talking about Being Happy! Why because Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday with shouts of joy and laughter. But something happened by Friday that killed all the joy and happiness. But Sunday came and boom people are rejoicing again and they are happy.
Last week we learned that laughter is good medicine and healthy for you:
· It reduces stress
· It reduces the chance of heart disease
· It drives our fear
· It drives out depression
· It creates a positive outlook on life
· Laughter helps us deal with pain better
It’s a scientific fact that people who laugh more lead healthier lives. We discovered from Proverbs that laughter is one dimension of wisdom. Do you want to be wise then learn to laugh.
Ecclesiates 3:4 tells us there is a time to weep and a time to laugh. I believe it’s time for the church to balance out their weeping and seriousness with some good old laughter. I sometimes think the church still thinks that Jesus is in the tomb and not risen. They still walk around like a bunch of mourners at a funeral parlor. Grieving over the death of the Messiah but forgetting that Friday was the first step to resurrection Sunday. The Sun came up and so did Jesus!
I have pondered what happened in Heaven the day Jesus arose. I imagine heaven up there laughing rejoicing, shouting words of rejoicing. I see God laughing. Friends God is a God who laughs listen to these verses:
Psalm 2:4; The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
Psalm 37:13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked,
for he knows their day is coming.
Psalm 59:8 But you, O LORD, laugh at them;
you scoff at all those nations.
Video clip of Jesus laughing at the sermon on the mount.
Many people today don’t seem to be able to get the picture that God Laughs, Jesus laughed and He wants us to laugh. John 10:10 screams at us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Having a life that is full is a life that is filled with joy, laughter and rejoicing.
It’s not a full life if our life is filled with seriousness and pessimism.
It’s not a full life if our life is filled with criticalness and grumbling.
It’s not a full life if our life is filled with crying and mourning.
It’s not a full life if our life is filled with whining and negativity.
It’s not a full life if our life is filled with no smiles and no good belly laughs.
With the fact of the Resurrection of Jesus should we not all have the “Be Happy’ attitude. Should not today of all days bring a smile across your face?
We have established that laughter is something God does and laughter is considered to be a therapy for those dealing with difficulties in life. I challenged all of us last week to become dispensers of laughter. We need to become laughter therapists for the benefit of ourselves and for the benefit it will bring to others. It’s a gift that will benefit everyone who comes in contact with it.
Overhead of some funny cartoons- See how laughter affects everyone positively!
T.S.-You might be thinking, “So how does a laughter therapist dispense laughter?” Lets explore the answers to this question so we all can learn to be God’s Christian Laugh Therapists.
I. Laughter therapists are ones who dispense laughter in spite of difficult circumstances.
a. We need to learn to choose to dispense the therapy of laughter during times of stress and crisis.
i. Enda Junkins has this to say about Laughter Therapy, “Laughter Therapy is a term used by many, but for our purposes, it is learning to laugh freely again at the many things we deal with that aren’t funny. Children will play with almost anything except direct pain. Adults were intended to do the same. When we can play with our pain, we laugh. When we laugh, we shift our perspective and problems shrink to a manageable size. We don’t diminish importance, but we are less overwhelmed” (We Need to Laugh).