"An angel of the Lord came down from heaven
and, going to the tomb
rolled back the stone
and sat on it”
Dear Joyful Christians:
There is an old story told of a monk that lived in a monastery of Europe hundreds of years ago. This monk was contemplating, with deep silent reverence, the events of Holy Week. He thought about the last supper and the darkness of the garden that night when Jesus prayed so hard drops of blood fell to the ground. He examined Jesus’ last day as he was betrayed, denied, abandoned, beaten, crucified and eventually buried in a borrowed tomb. He remorsefully grieved knowing that because of his sinful guilt, Jesus was compelled to die for him. As the sadness of those thoughts swirled around him, he then began to read the events of Sunday. Suddenly, he burst out in laughter, breaking the silence of the monastery and startling many of the other monks. And his laughter kept going. He could not stop. He got louder and his face got redder, until eventually, the entire monastic order had assembled all around him in concern. Only after many more minutes could he finally explain. “Don’t you see it was a joke! A great joke!” he exclaimed to the other men gathered around him. “Right when the devil thought he had won with Jesus dead and buried, God got the last laugh, raising him and opening up the grave for all to see. Jesus was alive forever.”
That day began a new tradition, the festival of Easter Monday. A day set apart for jokes, hijinks and laughter. Many churches still celebrate this tradition the Sunday after Easter, calling it “Bright Sunday” or “Holy Humor Sunday”. This year more than most, we really need to live that joy and celebrate with laughter. Just picture the humor of that Easter moment when the Angel comes down shaking the Earth rolling back the massive stone, and according to St. Matthew, sits down on it. I just can’t help picturing this angel sitting on a five foot high round stone, swinging his feet and simply grinning, awaiting that moment when he can proclaim “He is not here, He has risen!” That moment was the greatest joy of all history.
Today we celebrate that Bright Monday. Starting today, on our website, you can find a section entitled, “Fun with Faith Activities”. There will be crossword puzzles, games, search-n-finds or other such items frequently updated to that page. In the Holy Humor Monday newsletter, besides the congregational news, you will see some pages of humor, cartoons, trivia and prayerful fun. Be sure to celebrate, even at home, because today is the greatest day of laughter and joy.
Jesus is Risen! Rejoice, Laugh and Celebrate!
Pastor Kirk Griffin