Christians are known for some great things. Like Christmas and Easter. We’ve built orphanages, hospitals, fed the hungry, cared for the sick, and founded many of the great universities.
But sometimes friends have told me that they know far too many grumpy Christians, and I’m left shaking my head. Grumpy Christians? Shouldn’t this be the ultimate oxymoron? Like airline food, jumbo shrimp, or Microsoft Works. Of all people on the face of the earth, Christians have the greatest reason for joy. But some of us show up on Sunday morning with our faces so puckered that we could suck buttons off a sofa. Oswald Chambers, the author of the bestselling devotional of all time, My Utmost for His Highest, was often criticized for his sense of humour. After meeting Oswald for the first time, a rather serious young man said, “I was shocked at what I then considered his undue levity. He was the most irreverent Reverend I had ever met!” While visiting a family in London, Oswald stayed home with two children so their parents could attend a Sunday evening service. The couple was confident to leave the kids in the care of this great saint. Upon arriving home that night, they asked, “Did Reverend Chambers teach you a nice song or Bible verse?” “Oh, yes,” said the children. “We’ll say it:
‘Little Willie in best of sashes
Fell in the fire and was burnt to ashes,
Later on the room grew chilly,
But no one cared to poke poor Willie.’”
Oswald’s laugh could be heard echoing down the hall.
Billy Sunday once said, “If you have no joy, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere.” I couldn’t agree more. I believe in a holy and awesome God. The one who alone is worthy of my adoration and praise. But I also believe in a God who created the wiener dog, the duck-billed platypus, and Mr. Bean. I find it hard to read a Bible passage like Romans 8:1-2 without smiling: “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.”
Wow. Freedom? NO condemnation? Have you cracked a grin yet? If you’re a Christian, you have nothing to fear and everything to look forward to. Including a place called heaven, where Jesus himself will wipe away all your tears and straighten your question marks into exclamation points. If that doesn’t make you smile, my friend, I quit. Now, go have yourself a fantastic day.
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