The Bible is a comedy. That's right. A book that's both sacred AND funny. And intentionally so.
I know this is not something most people believe, or believe is possible. Even though we may find there to be a lot that is funny in our lives, it seems awkward to translate that sensibility to the life of faith, especially as taught to us in scripture.
That's the main reason I'm writing this blog - to explore what the Bible says, and the guidance it provides, if we look at it through "the comic lens," i.e., intentionally seeing and experiencing its stories, teaching and outlook on life - and especially life with God - as funny, laugh-filled, comedy.
In order to do this, we need learn to look at things differently - not as tragedy (which is the way we usually are taught to see things, especially when it comes to the Bible) - but rather as comedy. Not that there isn't a lot of sadness and suffering in our lives and in our world - there is - but there is also a lot of silliness and stuff that makes us laugh. And we tend to overlook the funny because it's not as important or as pervasive as the serious (or so we think).
But it's comedy that relaxes and strengthens us to embrace the tragedy and overcome it. Not taking ourselves seriously allows us to take life seriously. And life with God.
Wouldn't that be cool - and fun! - if that's what the Bible ultimately wants to teach us?
Perhaps our first big hint that this is so is the fact that the first forefather of the Judeo-Christian line is named Isaac, or "laughter." According to Genesis 18, Isaac's mother, Sarah, is over 90 years old when God comes and announces the promise of a child is finally going to be fulfilled, and the first thing she does is laugh. Cuz it's hilarious! A 90-year old pregnant lady? Come on!! God crankily gets mad that she laughs, but she shrugs him off with typical Israelite chutzpah, essentially telling Him to get over it (which He does) and furthermore advocating laughter to the widest audience possible by giving it as the name for her son "so all who hear will laugh with (or at - same diff) me." (Gen. 21:6)
Perhaps that the Bible wants to say is that laughter is -- and should be -- at the core of the Judeo-Christian faith tradition and practice. Before love, hope, charity, justice…there's guffawing.
I know, it's weird. But I think it will be fun to take seriously (pun totally intended), the call of Sarah to laugh firstly and foremostly, and see where it leads.
And discover how, through the comic lens, the Bible finally, actually, makes sense.