Ravi’s message today was so timely.
In Lansing, MI we spear-head a Warrior’s Table (Men’s Group) before Easter and Thanksgiving. This is our sixth year. Our topic for Easter this year is “Pleasure – is it a curse?” Much of the material is emulation from Ravi’s talk on the Problem of Pleasure. But, the Lord put on my heart to pursue laughter and joy for the message of Jesus’ resurrection in a John 10:10 kind of way – that Jesus came that we might have life in abundance (joy, peace, enjoyment).
Nationally acclaimed comedian, Jeff Allen, is headlining our event on 3/29/18 with his charm, comedy, and testimony. My prayer request for our team, and those prayer warriors in my family and this connection, was that we have a holy segue from the comedic to the resurrection message of hope. Got one step closer today after listening and pondering Ravi’s Just Thinking podcast this morning.
The dogma of the resurrection fuses life with such hope and such guarantee because our home is not just here, but in a realm with God. Quoting GK Chesterton, Ravi’s message provided that holy segue for our Warrior’s Table so beautifully: "Joy, which is the small publicity of the pagan," said Chesterton, "is the gigantic secret of the Christian." Orthodoxy, GK Chesterton.
For the non-believer, only peripheral questions can be answered; fundamental questions ones can’t be answered. So, joy is only peripheral and sorrow is fundamental. A naturalist/atheist/secularist believes there is nothing beyond the grave. When we are dead its done. We are just dancing to our DNA– the product of time + chance + matter.
For the believer, though, joy is fundamental and sorrow is peripheral. Said differently, the non-believer’s pleasure is ultimately tragic because it exists in a universe of despair. The believer’s tragedy (even the Cross) is glorious because it exists in a universe of “joy, joy poignant as grief beyond the walls of the world.” JRR Tolkien.
I am excited to move into Easter this year! Remembering that the resurrection brings us that hope, which provides the joy, so that we can have life in peace and abundance – and to laugh! We will do so in Lansing on 3/29/18, but we will also remember that laughter and pleasure need to be done in the context of that hope. Too much laughter – too much honey may make you sick. Please pray for our event.
Side note – Ravi also queried in the same message: What would you say to Lazarus to scare him after he was raised from the dead? Check out http://billjohnsononline.com/lazarus-laughed/