We at Pine Valley Christian Church, with many other congregations nationwide, recognize the important, but often overlooked, sacred gifts of laughter and joy! Laughter is a gift that allows us to keep our hearts light, even at the most difficult of times. At a funeral, a funny story about a loved one can bring comfort to those grieving. During a worship service, the gospel can often be more effectively shared with humor and joy. And even in the midst of the observing the crucifixion of Jesus, we know that life will have the last laugh over death.
For centuries, in Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions, “Bright Sunday” (the Sunday after Easter) was observed by the faithful as a “day of joy and laughter” to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. This year we had church camp Sunday the week after Easter, but it was decided that we would celebrate “Bright Sunday” or Holy Humor Sunday, only a couple of weeks later. In the tradition of Holy Humor Sunday, parishioners and pastors played practical jokes on each other, drenched each other with water, sang, and danced. It was a time for clergy and people to tell jokes, funny stories and to have fun.
The custom of Holy Humor celebrations were rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the death by raising Jesus to new life. Easter was “God’s supreme joke played on death.” “Risus paschalis ?~ the Easter laugh,” the early theologians called it.
In 1988, observing that the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection has been sorely neglected by 20th-century Christianity, the Fellowship of Merry Christians began encouraging churches and prayer groups to resurrect the old Christian custom of “Holy Humor” or “Bright Sunday” celebrations, as the early Greek Christians called it. This Sunday, May 3rd we will celebrate Easter life with Holy Humor so be prepared for a light-hearted service. Oh! And bring with you your favorite joke or funny story if you would like to share it!
Grace and Peace,
NEW MEETING DATE : SUNDAY, MAY 3rd
5PM AT THE HOME OF BILL AND PAM DELANEY
14715 SIEFKES, WICHITA 67230
DISCUSSING: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Bruegger
Please read ahead of time in order to discuss!
Snacks and beverages provided.