Gospel Thought: Laughter, Music, Heaven and Mocking the devil

Over the course of my Christian life, I have discovered that there is always something to worry about.  Worries, like weeds, choke all of the joy out of life.  Idols of “control” and “manipulation” possess our thoughts.  We stress out about our government, our family, our finances…it really doesn’t take much to get us going.  We put ourselves in a prison of worry, while the evil one, the devil (I refuse to capitalize his name – he’s not worth it), does all that he can to rattle our cage.  A couple of days ago I compiled a few quotes that are helping me to regain some perspective.  I sense the Holy Spirit reminding me that one of the ways that I should hide myself in the gospel is by enjoying the life that Christ has given me.  Out of a sense of worshiping Christ, I need to listen to good music, laugh with good friends, and give my life in service to others.  As theologian Eugene Peterson puts it, I need to learn “to care, and not to care.”  Below are few of the quotes I’ve read that are helping me with this endeavor.  Martin Luther has been especially helpful.

  • The best way to drive out the devil, if he will not yield to texts of Scripture, is to jeer and flout him, for he cannot bear scorn.  — Martin Luther
  • If you are not allowed to laugh in heaven, I don’t want to go there.  –Martin Luther (1483-1546)
  • It is pleasing to God whenever you rejoice or laugh from the bottom of your heart.  –Martin Luther (1483-1546)
  • Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.   –Martin Luther (1483-1546)
  • Nothing on earth is so well-suited to make the sad merry and the merry sad, to give courage to the despairing and to make the proud humble, to lessen envy and hate, as music.  — Martin Luther
  • Music makes people kinder, gentler, more staid and reasonable. The devil flees before the sound of music almost as much as before the word of God.  — Martin Luther
  • Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. — (Luke 6:21)
  • “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven”  — (Luke 6:23).
  • C. S. Lewis depicts laughter in Heaven when his characters attend the Great Reunion on the New Narnia: “And there was greeting and kissing and handshaking and old jokes revived (you’ve no idea how good an old joke sounds after you take it out again after a rest of five or six hundred years).”  — C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle
  • Father, today, right now, feeling as I do, with deadlines and health issues and friends who are hurting and world events in flux, I need to hear your promise that in Heaven we will laugh. I picture Jesus, laughing with his disciples, and I can’t wait to hear his laugh in person. I look forward to laughing with him at banquets and on walks and in conversations. Thank you for the gift of laughter. Thank you that you invented it. Thank you that we do not have to wait until Heaven to laugh, but that laughter can carry us on its back through difficult times. I think of the release that laughter brings at memorial services for people who have followed you faithfully, people who are already laughing on death’s other side. I have enjoyed rich laughter, mingled with tears, with friends and family in difficult days. When we weep now, Father, remind us that in Heaven, partaking of your joy, we will laugh.  — Randy Alcorn
  • In early Christian Greek tradition, Easter Monday was a “day of joy and laughter,” called Bright Monday. Only the followers of Christ can laugh in the face of persecution and death because they know that their present trouble isn’t all there is. They know that someday they will laugh.  — Randy Alcorn