About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


No laughing matter

I am convinced that God has a marvelous and healthy sense of humor. You have heard this and read this from me a number of times. Prophets can be sharp satirists, poking fun of pompous emperors, potentates and their empires. Also, any good storytelling, biblical literature not excluded, is composed of elements of suspense, surprise and comedy. And in the New Testament, Jesus’ parables are prime examples of subtle use of humor; they are short, surprising, to the point, yet often open ended...
    God has a marvelous sense of humor and wants to infect us with humor to keep us sane. Why? Because religious people have a tendency to take their religion and especially their religious-selves way too seriously. Religion without humor quickly degenerates into boredom or intolerance or even fanaticism. Humor is essential for our psychological as well as spiritual well-being.
    Of course, as always, there is a fine line between healthy and off-color jokes. The sharpest humor is found right on the edge. The Bible contains jokes which could go too far for many of us; take for instance profane (1Sam. 5), grotesque (1Sam. 18:25ff), and even toilet humor (1Sam. 24) to mention only a few borderline examples from just one biblical book. As always it is a matter of our personal upbringing, sensitivities and tastes whether any of these are up to or across the line of acceptable.
    Thus the Bible contains a number of what could easily be considered off-color jokes, but one kind of joke is clearly rejected, repudiated and reprobated. It is when the able and the powerful are poking fun of and ridiculing the disabled, the poor and the powerless. This kind of “humor” God does not find funny at all. And Jesus clearly shared this sentiment. This Sunday in the lectionary reading we will witness and will be able to rejoice as Jesus denounces the powerful for their political and religious ridicule of the powerless. Clearly God’s sense of humor is quite wide, but it is governed by the principles of divine justice.

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