I think it pretty obvious to say that God does not have a wicked sense of humour, but does God laugh, did / does Jesus laugh? does holy joy include having fun, enjoying yourself and laughing?

I don’t see why not, except there is a school of thought that says that laughter is for fools and that if you are making fun of something you are not taking it seriously – that you are mocking. Mockers do not rate highly in the Bible. On the other hand, laughter can break the tension, make holes in the barriers that people set up between themselves and help people get along. It can contribute to making harmony. Sharing a joke can be a way of building relationships with my neighbour – an expression of love for my neighbour. Unfortunately, humour can also be used as a weapon by making certain people, particular characteristics, the butt of a joke. In that instance humour breaks bridges rather than knock down walls between peoples.

The occasion of these thoughts comes from reading “Does God LOL?” compiled by Frankie Mulgrew. This book contains a collection of short articles from a range of comedians and comedy writers. It will come as no surprise that all bar one of the thirty plus contributors say “Yes” one way or another. That one of them says “No” is a bit of a surprise until you realise that his tongue is firmly in his cheek.

What struck me most about the book was the number of people who saw their comedy-making as a vocation. Many referred explicitly to their own Christian faith, but there was no one pattern. Comedy can help lift the burdens one carries in life. Comedy, jokes etc., provide one way of sharing joy – which is a spiritual gift. Some of the writers went as far as to show where there is comedy or laughter in the Bible. In a reverse of mediaeval tradition they ask “How can Jesus have not laughed?”

Whether or not you agree with the writers, the book was easy to read and I enjoyed the cartoons. I don’t know whether it would repay rereading but the profits from the book go to charity in any case.

Four stars, I think, or 7 out of ten.

“Does God LOL?” compiled by Frankie Mulgrew, published by Darton, Longman and Todd 2013

I think the answer to my original question is “Yes, God has a good sense of humour”.

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