Holy Humor Sunday
April 24, 2022 | Mark Piedmonte
Passage: John 20:19-28
Our Scripture reading for April 24 is John 20: 19-29. Let’s consider the story of Thomas and how he may have felt like the joke was on him when the other disciples told him they’d seen the risen Jesus. Can we imagine the joy Thomas felt when he did indeed see Jesus – the joy that made him proclaim: “My Lord and my God?”
LET US CONTINUE TO PRAY for all in need of the hope of new life found in Jesus Christ. We especially pray for all facing surgeries and treatments, therapies, and painful injuries. We continue in prayer for a peaceful end to the war in Ukraine. Prayers too for all in harm’s way from wildfires in the West, power outages in the Northeast and storm damages in the South. Lord, hear our prayers and keep us safe!
A BRIEF HISTORY on HOLY HUMOR SUNDAY
(from the JoyfulNoiseletter)
Many American churches are resurrecting an old Easter custom begun by the Greeks in the early centuries of Christianity-"Holy Humor Sunday" celebrations of Jesus' resurrection on the Sunday after Easter.
For centuries in Eastern Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant countries, the week following Easter Sunday, including "Bright Sunday" (the Sunday after Easter), was observed by the faithful as "days of joy and laughter" with parties and picnics to celebrate Jesus' resurrection. Churchgoers and pastors played practical jokes on each other, drenched each other with water, told jokes, sang, and danced.
The custom was rooted in the musings of early church theologians (like Augustine, Gregory of Nyssa, and John Chrysostom) that God played a practical joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead. "Risus paschalis - the Easter laugh," the early theologians called it.
In 1988 the Fellowship of Merry Christians began encouraging churches and prayer groups to resurrect Bright Sunday celebrations and call it "Holy Humor Sunday," with the theme: "Jesus is the LIFE of the party."
Many churches from different traditions responded enthusiastically. Holy Humor Sunday services are bringing back large crowds to churches on a Sunday when church attendance typically drops dramatically.
If you Google “Holy Humor Sunday” on the Internet, you’ll be amazed at how widespread Holy Humor Sunday celebrations on the Sunday after Easter have become among churches of all traditions. It’s clearly a movement of the Holy Spirit to shore up belief in the resurrection of Jesus.
So share a joke and a smile! Jesus loves you!!!