Like joy, fun is an essential.
The Sabbath principle calls for rest and worship. We define worship in a dazzling display of words, rich with meaning and employing vivid imagery. Rest can also be parsed into many words expressing its many sides. One of those words is fun.
Does it stretch things too far to say, “Fun is holy?”
Fun is an expression of joy, which of course, is our strength when we find our joy in the Lord. It follows then that fun in the Lord can be a source of strength as well. God created within us a capacity for enjoyment at every level of our humanity: body, soul, and spirit. There is no need to expound on the fun of the body: movement, rhythm, rhythmic movement, music, touching, seeing, tasting, hearing, feeling—the five senses can be fun.
Soul-ish fun is also known to us:
- mysteries and puzzles solved,
- riddles revealed,
- ironies realized,
- stories told,
- precious memories lingering in our souls,
- music—again the language of the emotions—the list could go on.
But what of spirit fun?
Is there such a thing? Of course and it brings us back to joy in the Lord, our strength. The joys of the soul and body are often used in Scripture as metaphors for the fun we can have in the spirit. The Bible commands to take joy in the Lord, to delight in Him, to rejoice in Him with constant rejoicing and even says that it is fitting to do so.
He was not the Hollywood Jesus!
Perhaps because fun has been captured by a sinful world, it has lost its holiness to some. This is unfortunate at best and debilitating at worst. One of the most remarkable things Jesus said of all the remarkable things He said was that He was bequeathing His joy to us. If He had been the dour, depressed character He is often purported to be in Hollywood films, His statement of intent to leave His joy to His disciples would have itself been funny.
- He must have walked this earth in profound joy.
- Surely it felt good to heal sick people, to set demon possessed people free, to raise the dead, and to answer the questioning minds all around Him.
- One can see the enjoyment Jesus had in His public encounters with the religious leaders who opposed Him.
- In the scriptural record, one can see Jesus having fun with His disciples and those who followed Him: walking and talking, dinning, fishing, and playing with children.
So, let us have our good, clean fun today. It is a day the Lord has made–have fun and enjoy it!
Psalm 118:24 NKJV
This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Philippians 4:4 NKJV
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Lord Jesus, help me see the joy you displayed in Your short life on this earth. The Bible makes it clear that you have planned for us to enjoy things—people, situations, funny words, laughable sights and so on. Lord, don’t let the Devil steal these things from me. Let me pray with King David, “Restore my joy! Show me the funny things and give me the courage to laugh at them, especially when that requires laughing at myself! Today, I will have some fun in Your Name! Thank, You, Jesus!
Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
Words: Henry van Dyke; Music: Ludwig van Beethoven
1. Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, Opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness, Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day.
2. All the works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heaven reflect Thy ways,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain, Call us to rejoice in Thee.
3. Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest,
Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ, our Brother—All who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, Lift us to the joy divine.
4. Mortals, join the happy chorus Which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, Brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music lifts us sunward In the triumph song of life.
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved