I’ve never experienced Holy Humor Sunday before. I liked it! For me, the beauty in the liturgical year, following the seasons in the Church calendar, is in the balance. The darkness and anticipation of Advent is met in the brightness of Christmas and the fulfillment of Epiphany. Likewise, the somber fasting of Lent gives way to the joyous abundance of Eastertide. Holy Humor is like the initiation of a season of joy and delight.
There is truth in both and we need both. In Ecclesiastes 3, the Teacher puts it this way:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
- a time to be born, and a time to die;
- a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
- a time to kill, and a time to heal;
- a time to break down, and a time to build up;
- a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
- a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
- a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
- a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
- a time to seek, and a time to lose;
- a time to keep, and a time to throw away;
- a time to tear, and a time to sew;
- a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
- a time to love, and a time to hate;
- a time for war, and a time for peace.
Lent provides us with a time to pluck up, to break down, to mourn, weep, throw away, tear, and keep silence. We need that. It is a good reminder every year to let go of some things because we tend to keep on grabbing new things and we forget that we are not in control of everything. Lent helps us to let go, to grieve, to admit that we are mortal and we can’t handle everything.
Eastertide is the other end of the spectrum. It’s a time to plant, to heal, to build, laugh, dance, gather, embrace, keep, speak, and love. It is a good reminder every year that we can be more than we tend to think. Life is more than pain. The boundaries we tend to believe are real just don’t matter in the face of the resurrected Christ. God raised Jesus from the dead, so what else can God do in us and through us?
Without Lent, we would keep adding and adding to our lives and eventually we would break under it. Without Easter, we would keep peeling away until we were nothing. Neither one is healthy in the long-run without the other. So in this season, I am grateful for the reminders of Easter. We can be more, go farther, and accomplish the impossible.