In class this morning, we investigated several of the themes of the texts of the day: providence, abundance, gratitude, participation (because the Israelites seemed to want to “have a hand in” the building of the Tabernacle, and there’s something about wanting to be part of something great that does seem to motivate generosity – and later, more gratitude, when the project is completed). And noticed that one of the lessons is that it’s important for us to bring out creative gifts, and to make beautiful things, in our lives – this is one of the ways we honor God.
And we wondered what is supposed to be being sown, and reaped, in Paul’s proverb in 2 Corinthians 9:6. It’s common to think of it as us, or people, who if we give stingily only receive back stingy blessings, but if we give generously, will receive a lot – like, maybe give a lot to a ministry on TV, and then get a house or a car … people do read that verse that way. Or maybe we are supposed to think of it a little more spiritually: if we give little, we receive little spiritual blessing, but if we give a lot, we receive a big spiritual payoff. But … who do we think is “the one” sowing, and “the one” reaping – and what is the connection between “the one” in verse 6 and the one in vv9-10? And we thought, perhaps, the one who really sows bountifully is God, and the real point in Paul’s point is that God’s goodness makes it possible to share in God’s bountiful giving, and ultimately be part of God’s reaping of abundant fruit of the Spirit.
In church we celebrated Holy Humor Sunday, or “Bright Sunday.” Traditionally, Holy Humor Sunday is the Second Sunday of Easter, but our congregation observed it this Sunday to allow our pastor, who was less familiar with the concept, to catch up on his homework and practice his comedic timing. One of members decorates the various doors of the building with visual humor (a lot of which seem to come from here), and the choir works up some appropriate musical offerings (e.g., playing Amazing Grace on the kazoo, with harmony … it works, trust me), and this particular Holy Humor Sunday morning our pastor reflected on the role of laughter in the abundant life that Jesus gives. Namely, significant. And celebrated the fact that, even in difficult circumstances, laughter can stay with us, and give us life. And we sang “Ho-ho-ho-hosanna” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It” and “The Trees of the Field” (you will go out with joy, and be led forth in peace) and a lot of grown-ups felt basically like kids, and praised God for that.
(Are you happy? Do you know it? Y’all know what to do …)