Where there is faith, there is laughter, too. – Martin Luther
Someone posted this picture on Facebook and Twitter just after our groundbreaking service. I have no idea what was being said at the moment of this picture. We seem quite happy for a bunch of wet and cold Christians standing in the mud to break ground for a new building! Though the sun was not shining on January 5, the brightness of God’s presence was evident in the community gathered at CUMC to turn the soil and begin construction of our new Christian Life Center.
We say one of our values as a Christian community at CUMC is “the gift of humor, and the ability we have to laugh together and, in times of trial, cry together.” We envision the expansion of our campus to create more opportunities for us to form Christian community at CUMC, welcoming persons of all ages to a place where we proclaim the good news of God’s love for the world that we have come to know in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Think ahead.
Can’t you see the laughter (and the tears) shared in this new facility? Picture a group of youth gathered together playing games to get acquainted. And see the same group singing praise to God and praying for one another and for our world in times of crisis. See the children in the new space, running and playing. And see them in a classroom sitting on the floor, talking about the reality of loss and pain, even when we are young. Picture a busy kitchen, where folk are gathered chopping and slicing for Evensong. And see the college students coming together to talk and laugh but also to embrace one another in their struggles. See a family in a line after a funeral service, greeting persons as stories are told of one of the church’s saints. And there on the same day there is laughter in the remembering…and tears as grief is embraced.
One of my mentors uses the phrase “humanity at full stretch” when speaking of the Christian community as a place where we can, indeed, share laughter and tears. It’s one of our strengths at CUMC. And what began on January 5 at our groundbreaking will continue as we share life with one another and, by God’s grace, hold tightly to one another in joy and sorrow. How good it is to be on the journey with sisters and brothers who laugh and cry together.