“Fun authenticates forgiveness.” While I have always been drawn to comedy I had never considered the value of fun and humor until I heard this phrase at the Orange Tour in Indianapolis last weekend. The speaker was Reggie Joiner and he was saying that one of the most theologically profound things that we can teach our youth and adults both, is to have fun together. “Now Daniel,” you may interject, “having fun is not a theologically significant thing at all.” But I would insert that you are wrong. As Reggie had to clarify, you can’t have fun with someone you hate; you can’t have fun with someone you are still angry with for enforcing punishment; indeed, you can’t have fun with someone you don’t even enjoy. When I discipline Isaiah there is a moment where he will not be pleased with me very much, but he needs to know that I have forgiven him for the offense and that we are on good terms again, even though I had to punish him. How do I reassure him that we are on good terms? Have fun with him! If I can engage him in a fun activity shortly after the punishment then I will have authenticated the forgiveness that I issued.
Reggie said that if we can embrace this teaching as a church, then people will start running to the church instead of running away from it. If we can be God’s mouthpiece and tell people that they are forgiven and washed clean and redeemed and then engage them in fun activities at the church, then they will believe that they really are forgiven and they will get excited about spending time together as a Body of Christ followers.
This coming Sunday we will gather together to worship, to praise, to learn, and to celebrate the fact that God has forgiven us. We can have fun together knowing that we have been redeemed and ransomed. We are new creatures. Let’s celebrate that truth today!