Community in Action March 24, 2021

Yesterday the East Bay Regional San Francisco Presbytery Pastor’s Group met. There were four pastors and one of the Executive Partners of the Presbytery at the meeting. We chatted about things in general at our churches and family life. I met one of the Pastors who started at his church on April 15th 2020, he has yet to met his congregation in person. Talk about a strange way to start a ministry.

    I think all of us are feeling the fatigue of our roles during this pandemic. One thing which was brought up, that I clung to as a life raft, was the need to laugh. The importance of just spending time together and noticing those things which are humorous, be it a joke with a punch line or a circumstance which when viewed later is so funny.

    In that mind set I was preparing for the Easter service and as I read through the John rendition of the resurrection I realized how funny it must have looked when Peter and John ran to the empty tomb and then started to rifle through the burying clothes looking for Jesus.

    It must have been shocking and distressing at that moment, but I can only imagine how after meeting Jesus again they must have told the story to the disciples with some snickers and chuckles if not out right laughter. “Jesus where arrrre youuuu?” “Jesus are you hiding behind the stone bench?” “Jesus this is Peter speaking I need you to show your face right now, this is not funny.”

    Later in the afternoon yesterday I noticed the multitude of gnats flying above the grasses in the lawn in front of my window. The rays of the sun made it so easy to see them and then I noticed the sparrows flitting from one place to another trying to catch those gnats in their beaks. It was so funny to see them flitting this way and that trying to catch a little snack.

    I have had trouble sleeping and I am tried of zooming, four meetings yesterday in a row, and then there is all the chaos still going on in the world. Immigrant housing issues, a mass shooting in Colorado, Asian American and Pacific Islander targeting, political partisanship, it just never seems to end.

    So today I am taking a break from the news, still praying for all the victims of these events and perpetrators who continue to crop up abusing power and using destruction as a way to express their frustration. I long to receive the peace and grace of God in ways that will help bring a lightness to my heart.

    If you have a favorite sit-com or heard an especially funny joke or had a moment when you realized that there are still funny things to make you laugh in this world, please share it with me. I do believe that God is walking with us through the difficult times and God will bring us through the darkest of tunnels to bask in the light, but right now I need to laugh.

    Let us encourage each other and smile more and realize we can enjoy this world and our time on earth and it is not sacrilegious to laugh.

    Seeking God’s grace and the gift of laughter with you,

    Pastor Randy

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