This week I am thinking a lot about love and laughter.
We are already nearing the end of the second week of Advent! On Sunday we lit the second candle, talked about love, and read the passage in Mark that tells of John the Baptist. John the Baptist, with his weird clothes and wilderness living, was announcing to everyone that the Messiah was coming and preparing them for the coming of Jesus Christ.
After hearing about John the Baptist in church and Sunday school, I read the Extended Session kids the story from Luke where a pregnant Mary goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth and they both rejoice in love and laughter about the babies they are carrying. Elizabeth will give birth to John the Baptist. The passage says that when Mary greets Elizabeth she is filled with the Holy Spirit and the child in her womb leaps with joy.
I think this is my favorite of all the scriptures about the birth of Jesus. These strong and brave women are sharing joy, laughter, and embracing the promise of God's love and the hope that their children will bring to the world.
Read Luke 1: 39-56
This week this passage has reminded me how much, like most people, I love to laugh. Two moments from this week were examples and reminders for me just how much we need laughter and joy in our daily lives.
First, Hanna was reading a library book to kids during Extended Session on Sunday and it was a particularly silly story, A couple of the kids were really enjoying it and were laughing like crazy. Their laughter filled my heart with such joy and reminded me that God is present in our laughter.
The second moment this week was last night at the coffee shop where we gather for youth group. There was a student sitting at a table next to me and she was talking on the phone. She had a very loud, infectious laugh. It was one of those deep belly laughs that becomes uncontrollable and you can't breathe. In some cases, this might be annoying to the other people in the coffee shop. But in this case her laughter was so contagious that I started to laugh - and I noticed that everyone around me was laughing and smiling as well.
Laughing feels good. Laughing feels like - well, love.
What makes you laugh?
Where in your week have you felt God's presence?
This week take a few minutes to remember the times when you laughed so hard that you could barely breathe. As we wait to celebrate the birth of Love into the world - do what ever it is that makes you laugh out loud. Perhaps you will find God in those things and places.