Summary: Christ’s joy lives in us when we remian focused on our belief in God’s promises. (This sermon was for our Holy Humor Sunday, which focuses on the joy of Christ’s last laugh in his victory over death.)
I Peter 1:3-9 (quotes taken from the NKJV unless noted)
Wakelee Church ~ Holy Humor Sunday, April 3, 2005
Theme: Christ’s joy lives in us when we remain focused on our belief of God’s promises.
Introduction – Joy is often a hard thing to come by….
Illus. Questions that have Confused humankind!!
Why do toasters always have a setting that burns the toast to a horrible crisp, which no decent human being would eat?
Why is there a light in the fridge and not in the freezer?
If Jimmy cracks corn and no one cares, why is there a song about him?
Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?
If the professor on Gilligan’s Island can make a radio out of coconut, why can’t he fix a hole in a boat?
Why does Goofy stand erect while Pluto remains on all fours? They’re both dogs!
If Wile E. Coyote had enough money to buy all those Acme supplies, why didn’t he just buy dinner? And why did he keep buying from Acme with their dismal product performance?
Did you ever notice that when you blow in a dog’s face, he gets mad at you, but when you take him on a car ride, he can’t wait to stick his head out the window into the wind?
Does pushing the elevator button more than once make it arrive faster?
Why do the Alphabet song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star have the same tune?
More seriously, one of the OTHER questions that has confused humankind is where to find joy. We look for joy in what we own, how many children we may have (or not have), our job status, or our friendships. But joy still seems to be illusive.
And this morning as we come into this place to celebrate Holy Humor, Christ’s last laugh – his victory over death, the headlines speak more of death than victory. We hear of Terry Shiavo and find it difficult to find any joy. We here of John Paul II, and no matter what your political or theological view, it’s hard to find joy in his passing.
I also fully realize that many have given up on joy as well. They can point to each day of their lives and tell you stories of stress, sorrow and pain, how one unjoyful situation seems to follow another to the point that they can’t remember the last time they felt “joy” in its purest form.
Joy is often a hard thing to come by….
I – The Bible talks a lot about joy…WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE JOYFUL!
But, as Christians, we are called to a life of joy. According to the Strong’s Concordance, the word joy and its derivatives appear almost five hundred times in the whole of Scripture. Moses talked about joy. David wrote about joy. The prophets predicted joy. Jesus proclaimed joy. The disciples taught joy.
Illus. But joy seems to hang on your point of view doesn’t it? It reminds me of a story where one enterprising man asked the Lord, “Lord, how long is a million years to you?”
The Lord replied, “To me, a million years is like a second.”
Carrying one step further, the man asked, “Lord, how much is a million dollars to you?”
The Lord said, “To me, a million dollars is like a penny.”
Thinking he’d found a loophole, the man asked, “Lord, may I have a penny?”
The Lord answered, “Sure, just a second.”
Joy depends upon our point of view. It’s interesting to note that one of the last notes attributed to Pope John Paul II told the world to, “Be of good cheer!” Even in the midst of death, he realized the need to focus on the joy of eternal life. In fact, when it was announced that he had went to be with his Father, some on the steps of St. Peter’s Square applauded.
Isn’t that the message of Scripture? The Bible says that we are to be a joyful people, even in the midst of all that happens around us. But is this really possible?
*****in the insert, not spoken
Especially in the Psalms… (taken from the NIV)
“The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.” – Psalm 19:8
“My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.” – Psalm 28:7
“Clap you hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.” – Psalm 47:1
“My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you…” – Psalm 71:23
“…I sing for joy at the worlds of your hands.” – Psalm 92:4
“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad…” – Psalm 96:11
“Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy.” – Psalm 98:8