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    Sunday sermons 

    Each week Pastor Keith’s Sunday sermon is posted on this site. Several other recent sermons are also available here. You can go back over it to review what he said — or if you cannot come to church, you can still enjoy his sermons.

    God Laughs
    April 3, 2016

    Psalm 2 seems like a good Psalm to read today, Holy Humor Sunday. It is the day we celebrate the greatest joke ever. The joke of It is better than any April fool’s joke that you concocted this week. This psalm was sung whenever a new king of Israel was crowned. It is a song praising God, praising God’s king — the anointed one — and celebrating God’s power over the enemies of the kingdom. But the first Christians read this psalm as being about the Messiah.

    "Swift people, don't forget to take your medicine," the 'humor doctor' advises.

    Let’s re-read Psalm 2 from a Jesus perspective.
    Why do the Romans conspire
    and the religious folks plot in vain?
    Pilate and Herod rise up
    and the Pharisees band together
    against the LORD and against his anointed, saying,
    “Let us break Jesus’ spell on the people
    and throw off his message of love and forgiveness.”
    The One enthroned in heaven laughs.

    During the children’s time one Easter Sunday the leader talked about the resurrection of Jesus. One child asked, “What did Jesus say right after He came out of the grave?” The leader explained that the Bible does not tell us what He said. One little girl shouted out, “I know what He said: He said, ‘Tah-dah!’ ”

    God laughs at the idea that Jesus can be held in the grave. Some people call it the Easter laugh. We often don’t think of God laughing. We think God is all serious and stuffy and if we were at a dinner table with him we’d be bored to death with the conversation. But God laughs. God laughs at the thought that someone other than He, the God of all creation, is sovereign. God laughs when we think we could do away with the Messiah. God laughs at the very idea that we can manage just fine without him. The greatest joke in history was pulled on the political and religious leaders who thought that killing Jesus would be the end of the story.

    Here are Caiaphas and all his crowd, Pilate and Herod and all theirs, sitting complacently in a state of grave and dignified self-congratulation. “Better that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” (John 11:50) they say not realizing the irony. They have done their duty. They have seriously studied the surroundings. They have justified the authority vested in them. And they efficiently disposed once and for all of a dangerous fool. He is safely dead. And with solemn calm again restored they can concentrate once more on the really serious matters to which their lives are dedicated.

    But behind their backs, in the twilight of Sunday morning, without them having the slightest inkling of what is going on, the fool popped up like a Jack-in-the-box and shouted “Tah-dah!” He is alive and dancing about even more vigorously than before and even more compellingly than before. Surprise! the joke’s on you. Christ is alive. Christ is risen! Christ reigns! As the song “Lord of the Dance” (which we will sing later), says, “They buried my body, they thought I was gone But (the joke’s on them) I am the dance, and the dance goes on.”

    How should you celebrate after Easter? With a good laugh, of course. Better yet, with a party, a really fun party. Far from being a strange, new idea, this is actually a long-standing tradition rooted in good Christian theology. It began hundreds of years ago. A monk, whose name has been lost in history, was pondering the meaning of the events of holy week with its solemn observances of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the astonishing, earth-shaking events of Easter. “What a surprise ending,” he thought. Then suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, he had a new insight. His hearty laugh startled his fellow monks, breaking the silence of their contemplation.

    “Don’t you see,” he cried, “It was a joke! A great joke! The best joke in all history! On Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified, the devil thought he had won. But God had the last laugh on Easter when he raised Jesus from the dead.” The monks called it “the Easter laugh.” Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/

    The grave could not hold the Christ. Death was defeated. And God laughed.


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    • Presbytery of S. Alabama
    • Synod of Living Waters



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    Swift  
    Presbyterian  
    Church
     

                 —————
    23208 Swift Church Road
    Foley, AL 36535
    Phone: (251) 943-8367
    email: swiftpc@gulftel.com