Holiness and Hilarity.

Posted: June 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

Today, I learned a new word and I REALLY like it!

I’m adding it to my list of favorite words.

It’s a fun Latin word.

The word is “hilaritas”.

It means cheerfulness, merriment, good humor. It’s where we get our word, hilarious.

It’s a fun word, a happy word, a word that lightens.

It’s a word that doesn’t seem to get associated with “religious” folk much, and THAT is sad!

It seems that if you are spiritual you are hardly hilarious.

We seem to equate true spirituality with a sour expression. If you want to appear “holy” you must be serious and somber, arrogant and a little condescending.

Can you take yourself VERY seriously, act constipated and seldom laugh? Then, you too can be a Christian!!

We equate deep with serious, and people who laugh are shallow and lightweight.

That’s not hilarious at all!

This way of thinking hasn’t always been the norm.

“In the days when the Roman Catholic Church was in the business of canonizing certain of our brothers and sisters in faith, giving them the honorary title ‘saint’ and indicating thereby that they had lived an exemplary life of faith, one of the standard items for qualification was evidence of hilaritas – joy. The proposed saint had to be a hilarious woman or a hilarious man, capable of laughing, of praising, of enjoying.” (Eugene Peterson, As Kingfishers Catch Fire)

I love that so much!!! A holiness measured by holy hilarity!! A faith marked by joy.

Real Saints smile!

The Saint test: Do you love Jesus? Do you you know how to laugh?

Why are we surprised by that?

God is the designer and distributor of joy. Laughter is His idea.

I think that sometimes the One who said “let there be light” also says “lighten up!”

He gives us joy to make us strong in this sometimes UNhilarious world.

Apart from God, joy loses its fizz like a carbonated beverage that is left sitting open too long.

We need carbonated joy!!


My prayer: may we be a hilarious people today!


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