I was on my way to Canterbury the other day when I saw an AA van on the side of the road. The driver looked very miserable and was sobbing inconsolably. I thought to myself: ‘That guy’s heading for a breakdown’.
Actually that wasn’t true - it was a joke. Just in case you were wondering.
I once read somewhere that in the Greek Orthodox tradition, the day after Easter was devoted to telling jokes - because Easter tells us that God has the last laugh.
Now I don't know whether that's true or not, but I rather hope that it is. The final enemy, death, is defeated. Evil is overcome. The devil thought he had won, smugly believing he had the last word, smiling to himself in victory. So he thought. Then God raised Jesus from the dead, and life and salvation became the last words. Satan has had his day - Jesus lives!
I really do love the idea of a day telling jokes as a way of celebrating the fact that Jesus was raised by God on that Sunday morning, conquering Satan, dealing with death and sorting out my sin. Easter is a celebration. For Christians there should be feasting and fun, music, festivity and dancing—anticipating the fullness of the kingdom that is our hope in Jesus.
In John 20:18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: ‘I have seen the Lord!’ This Easter, don't just read about Mary's delight - let it live in you, in your heart and mind and soul! Live it well. Smile, take heart, have a laugh, because you have a hope that is steadfast and certain.
Go on, tell a joke, celebrate a little,
for God has the last laugh and Jesus has risen!