When things seem too good to be true, we doubt them; yet often we have no trouble believing that things are as bad as we are told. Sarah laughs an old-age chuckle at the message from the Lord that she will bear a child. From Old Testament Sarah to New Testament elderly Elizabeth and young Mary of Nazareth, God brings good news that seems beyond belief. New life is possible. Believe it. God is able to do something surprising, stunning, awesome, amazing, indeed, “wonderful.” Or as The Message puts it, “Is anything too hard for God?”

God keeps promises (though sometimes it seems to take a long time); in chapter 21, Sarah bears a son, Isaac, whose name has a root meaning of “to laugh.” Maybe the apple does not fall far from the tree.

In one church I served, the Sunday after Easter was Joke-and-Laughter Sunday. The Resurrection was God’s biggest surprise, so we needed to laugh and remind ourselves that God is still at work in the world and that the tragedies and difficulties of the world can often have a surprising and startling turn. Laughter helps us to change our perspective, to lighten up so we can see things from a different angle.

I hoped that filling the church with laughter would point us toward God, the One who can do more than we can ask or imagine. (See Ephesians 3:20.) As Sarah moves from a doubting “ha” to joy, delight, and blessing in birthing Isaac, we too can allow laughter to show us God’s working in the world.

God of wisdom and delight, fill us with open-eyed wonder to see and believe that you are working for good in our fearful, anxious, war-torn, hungry, and busy world. Keep us noticing signs of birth, and help us tend what is new and fragile to bring it to fullness. Sharpen our wit in the face of evil so that resurrection has the last word. Amen.

Rece las Escrituras usando Leccionario en Audio
Leer Matthew 9:35-38 , Leer Matthew 10:1-23

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Leccionario Semanal
June 8–14, 2020
Resumen de la Escritura

The readings this week lack a common theme. Genesis recounts the promise of Isaac’s miraculous birth and the fulfillment of that promise—a key story in the history of God’s people. The psalmist cries out with gladness to the Lord, for we are God’s people and the grateful recipients of unending faithfulness. Paul rejoices because we have peace with God through our faith in Jesus Christ. This is not because of anything we have done or could do; rather, God’s love sent Christ to die for us when we were distant from God. In Matthew, Jesus calls his disciples and declares that God’s harvest is vast, but there are not enough workers willing to go into the fields. It is a call for us to go as the disciples did.

Preguntas para la reflexión

Read Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7. How does your faith invite you to laughter?
Read Psalm 100. How do you make a joyful noise to God? Consider trying a new practice of joyful praise.
Read Romans 5:1-8. How has God’s love for you prompted you to “the second movement of the symphony,” to share God’s love with others and all creation?
Read Matthew 9:35–10:23. How are you called to participate in Christ’s ministry of healing?

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