Tuesday, September 28, 2010

God's Sense of Humor

Humor is odd.  The things that we human beings laugh and snort and giggle at tend to be those that strike us as incongruous, the combination of one thing with another thing to absurd effect.  Laughter in homo sapiens sapiens is typically stirred when something is utterly absurd, when our expectations about causality are shattered, when our social norms are transgressed against, or when someone emits a flatus.

My wife, for instance, simply could not stop laughing when I showed her Russian Rick Roll guy, whose video is above.  I also may have chortled at it a time or two.  It's so utterly absurd, so impossibly jauntily doofy, that I swear she was in peril of passing out.  My boys often accuse me, on the other hand, of being without a sense of humor.  It's true.  It's hard to get me to laugh, particularly at jokes.  I'm too cynical.  I know what to expect.  On the other hand, I find collections of bloopers and videos of people falling down to be insanely funny

This Sunday, on the way to church, I wondered at humor and God.  If we find the unanticipated and the peculiar to be amusing, then it seems impossible that God might have a sense of humor.  How can you ever find anything surprising or unanticipated if you are Alpha and Omega?  It seems unlikely.  And yet I'll often hear, as faithful folk encounter some of the more ironic and bizarrely coincidental events of life, that God must have a sense of humor.

Like, say, this Sunday in my service.  I was reading the passage from 1 Timothy 6 about the dangers of wealth.  My entire sermon challenged the ethic of consumerist aquisitiveness that defines our culture.  Yet as I prepared to read it, I discovered mid-service that my Bible had...well...it's an old Bible.  It's kinda falling apart.  And at some point over the week prior, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus had just plain old fallen out.  They weren't there. 

So I had to get up in front of the church and read the scripture condemning our idolatrous hunger for possessions from the screen of my shiny new iPhone 4. 

Though I don't for a moment imagine that the Numinous Font of All Being was snickering, for in His Radiant Glory He Snickereth Not, I certainly appreciated the effort.