Reflections on Faith and Community

Dear friends,

On this page, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. You can also find them on the church's YouTube Channel in the "Weekly Word" playlist. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.

Andrew S. Odom

06/26/2017 11:11 AM

Laughing into Belief

06/26/2017 11:11 AM
06/26/2017 11:11 AM

Sarah said, “God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.” (Genesis 21:6)

One day God came to Abraham and told him that his wife Sarah was going to have a baby. Sarah overheard this conversation and began laughing out loud. The whole notion was ridiculous, completely impossible. She was well beyond child bearing years, and Abraham, well, Abraham was really old. So she laughed, and Abraham laughed right along with her. I’m sure they kept on laughing, at least until her tummy began to grow. When their son Isaac (a name that literally means “he laughs”) was finally born, Sarah looked to the heavens in gratitude and said, “God has brought laughter for me.”

Can laughter serve as a catalyst for belief? I believe so. We tend to think of laughter as a frivolous activity that serves no purpose other than sheer entertainment. After all, we find great enjoyment in a laugh. But there is more to it than that. I believe God speaks to us through laughter in the same way God does through any other means. Throughout the beginning of the story of Isaac, we are surprised to discover God using laughter as a powerful tool to help Abraham and Sarah move from doubt to belief. What started off as a complete impossibility, laughingly becomes the real deal. They literally laugh themselves into belief as their hearts are opened up to the impossible promise of God.

As Walter Brueggemann astutely points out, “Laughter is a biblical way of receiving something new that can’t be explained.” Sometimes our faith can present us with the most outlandish of things, things that cause us to chuckle at the thought of them. What we learn from Abraham and Sarah, is that our holy laughter can serve as a prelude to a deeper faith and a more fervent belief in God.

« back