When Being Good Isn't Good Enough: 21 Days of Grace


The Laughter of God

Something is missing in the family of Christ. It isn’t that we aren’t doing things right, that we aren’t trying, that we don’t care. It isn’t that we have ignored God’s commandments or been unfaithful to Christ. It is the contagious laughter of God.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-5; 14).

When Jesus came something new happened. God laughed—not with the laughter of cynicism, judgment, derision, or sarcasm—but with the free, infectious, joyful laughter of the sovereign Ruler of the universe. We didn’t expect God to laugh that way. We expected Him to be angry, because we knew He had every reason to be angry. We expected Him to bring down justice on the injustice of His world, because we knew Him to be a just God. We expected Him to wipe out the whole mess and start all over. No one would have blamed Him. We expected lightning, wrath, intimidation, and a fearful display of power. We could have understood that. But laughter? Nobody expected laughter—free, gentle, accepting, and loving. That’s what the incarnation of Christ is all about, and when we fail to see it that way, or when we proclaim it in any other way, we miss the whole point.