Fr.Adam writes

    
FR. ADAM WRITES Dear friends,
I've recently read a book.

But before we get onto the book, I want us to think about God.
A fairly normal subject you'd hope for any Christian.
We should think about, pray to, and thank God every day of our lives.
For those of you well versed in the Psalms you'll also see that the people of God were also very good at shouting at God or crying out to God in their distress.
The term we often use for some of the Psalms is 'lament'.
Some of these Psalms are raw and angry. Do we get raw and angry with God sometimes?
Or do we hide it away in a neat little box because we think God only wants us when we are in our Sunday best and being very twee and polite?
Very often I suspect it's the latter of these two things. But the Bible teaches us time and time again that when we think about God, we can be angry, we can be raw, we can be overwhelmed, we can cry and rage and rant.
We can get down on our knees and offer all our lament up to him.
So maybe when we think about God we need to think about him as being the one on whom we can lay down all these things as well - God is big enough to take them and help us heal and transform them.

And so perhaps I thought I'd got God sussed.
I try and say my prayers every day, I say thank you to God regularly and I pray for lots and lots of people and ask God to support them.
And l've always been fairly good at the lament stuff.
I know that God is big enough to take it and if it was good enough for the people in the Bible it's good enough for me and so l've shouted and offered up lament to God many, many times.
I thought l'd got God sussed.

But the Bible teaches us time and time again that when we think about God, we can be angry we can be ravm we can be overwhelmed, we can cry and rage and rant.
We can get down on our knees and offer all our lament up to him.
So maybe when we think about God we need to think about him as being the one on whom we can lay down all these things as well - God is big enough to take them and help us heal and transform them.

Then I read this book recently. lt's called 'what's so funny about God: a theological look at humour?' by Steve Wilkens.
And it encourages us to begin by looking at all the humour in the Bible and trust me there is a lot!
Some of you may know one of my favourite books of the Bible is Jonah.
The book of Jonah is absolutely hysterical and if you've never thought about it that way re- read it.
lt's basically Jonah having a massive strop with God and stomping about a lot before managing the biggest mass conversion in history where even the animals got dressed up in sack cloth to demonstrate their seeking forgiveness.

And it's not just in the book of Jonah - there is a lot of humour in the Bible but how often have we missed it through our desire to be pious or thinking that everything about God must be EXTREMELY SERIOUS?
And to be honest I had missed it but when I read this book, I began to see it It was there.

The book then goes on to suggest that if there is humour in the Bible must have a sense of humour.
Well hands up if anyone has ever considered God having a sense of humour.
I very much doubt any of us have but it makes sense because if we have a sense of humour (and I'm very aware not everyone does!!) then that humour must have been part of God's plan when he created us.
God created and understands humour and therefore, by virtue of this, must have a sense of humour. Humour has to be part of the God's being.

Think about that for a second: God has a sense of humour.
And this made me think because if God has a sense of humour, if the Bible contains humour and if God created us with a sense of humour, then God would want his church to be as much full of humour as it is with all the other things we offer in church.

Therefore, the challenge to all of us is that as we think about God, we also think about him with a sense of humour; with a sense of joy.
And then we need to also let our churches be likewise full of humour, full of laughter, full of joy.
Just as much as our churches can be filled with lament, grief and sadness.

So maybe next time you are laughing at something share it with God and share it with his church.
Laugh with God, share your jokes with him and know that when you have a proper belly laugh, God will probably be joining in.

God is always bigger than we can imagine.

With every blessing,
Fr Adam