AH-HA Moments – September 2019

How much laughter do you hear around your church these days? Do you hear giggles, chuckles, and even some guffaws in the entrance ways, hallways, and even during worship itself?  If you do, keep it up! If you do not, why not start a new group, entitled the LLM – “Let’s Laugh More”!

The best AH-HA Moment of all is to continue to realize that the Lord has risen! He has died for us! He gives us new life each day! Let’s keep that focus as we share our faith through laughs and joyful hearts and holy giggles as we sing, pray, baptize, receive the Holy Supper and hear God’s freeing Word of love, joy and forgiveness!

Here are some signs of health, hope, and laughter in the parish. Watch for them:

  1. There is a vision! It is God’s vision of faith and hope and we are empowered to articulate it.
  2. There is a celebrative spirit. There is laughter, smiles, and hugs. And even in the tears, there is love and acceptance.
  3. There is a passion for people. Faith communities know that “God so loved the world….”and that includes everyone, those inside and outside of our faith communities. There is a passion to tell others of God’s love for them, especially to those who think God has forgotten them.
  4. There is a sense of hope! Hope is not a naïve wish that things will go well. Rather it is the assurance that in spite of the Good Fridays in our lives, there is always an Easter!
  5. There is a global mindset. We see the Lord alive in all of life throughout the world with all of His people and we help others connect with other cultures, ideologies, and environments.
  6. There is a sense of “taking care” of ourselves as individuals but not at the expense of those “outside’ of the Church. We are not a country club with membership for those who only look, act, and live like we do. The only membership requirement is for all of us to be sinners – and redeemed sinners at that!
  7. There is a servant-leadership style. We do not “pay” the pastor and other staff members to DO the ministry for us, We support them to equip and encourage all of us to be ministers of the Gospel where ever we live and go.
  8. There is the proclamation of the Gospel in doing, telling and being. The gospel is alive because the Spirit is present, and the Spirit does not live in the church building but rather in the hearts of all of us as we move and live and celebrate in our daily lives.
  9. There is a lot of “Resurrection Practicing’ going on! As Wendell Barry, a modern prophet, puts it, “Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. Practice Resurrection!
  10. There is forgiveness! Life is for giving and life is forgiving. We live out a life of forgiveness because He first has forgiven us!

The next time you worship at Church, greet your fellow members with a laugh, a smile, and a hug….and then let worship and the fun begin!

Rich Bimler