I was reading recently in Church Life Journal from McGrath Institute on Church Life a recounting of the Christmas story from Luke. How often is that sweet story read without the comma – where the run-on says that the shepherds, “saw Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a the manger.”   Uhm, that might have been a tight squeeze!

Growing up in a very fundamentalist church, I don’t ever remember much humor when talking about anything from the Bible. As a child, my overall impression of God was that he was mostly angry. We humans have done much to disappoint!  I recently did a little research on Biblical humor. Culture has much to do with our interpretation of, and use of, humor.  Going back 2,000 years to the historical time of Jesus, it doesn’t seem like there would be much to laugh about. Even so, there are things to give us chuckle in scripture.

When Jesus referred to James and John as the “Sons of Thunder”, was there a little jesting with that nickname?  Perhaps!  While scripture doesn’t record a lot of detail in the banter between Jesus and the disciples, there had to have been some lighthearted conversations, some joking and jostling around. It would have been fun to listen in on their conversation.

Our world has always been a harsh place in which to live. During the time of Jesus, it was the oppression of the Roman Empire, in addition to the every day challenge of just surviving. Today the global oppressors have changed, and our every day stressors are different, but life can still be wearying.

This week, let’s find ways to tune into our God-given sense of humor. Pass along a good joke to a family member.  Watch a TikTok clip featuring a funny animal – they are easy enough to find!  Search for reasons to laugh!


Diana Kongkeattikul