Genesis 18:11-12 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”
We had our CROP Walk after church on Sunday so I am feeling a little worn out and old this Monday morning. Sarah overheard the prediction that she would have a baby and the above was her response- laughter. When the child comes he will be named Isaac, a word with roots in the Hebrew for laughter. The reality is that we do grow old and have to adjust to losses in our bodies- that is what makes the birth of this child so special. You don’t have to be old however to know that there are windows of opportunity in life that open and then close- specific chances to do specific things at specific times which, once passed, do not return. It is possible to become bitter and cynical as a result of missed opportunity- the one that got away. It is also possible to see God acting in new and unexpected ways. Many of us in the church feel like our congregations and denominations are undergoing a time of massive change. We have seen more churches wither and close recently than expand and thrive. It is unlikely that the future will look like the past for many congregations. But that doesn’t mean God is through with us or won’t complete what he is doing in our place and time (by the way- the Christian Church is expanding and thriving in many parts of the world). Much of the laughter in our world is founded on cynicism, disappointment and blame. Some of it is found in the joyful surprise that God has more in store even when it is different than what we anticipated. This week, how will you laugh?