Having Fun (July 2016)

I write this just after our Fun Day held on June 11th, to celebrate the Queen’s birthday (see p16 for pictures).  We had a good turnout in spite of the dubious weather, and good fun was had by all, young and old.  We organised a variety of activities at the Fun Day, including biscuit decorating and also making a crown (thank you to Lynn Wakefield and Clare Davies for leading those).    These were primarily designed to be for the children, but one of the delightful things was to see how adults (old enough to be parents, or even grandparents) also enjoyed taking part.  It is good to see how even grown-ups can join in play like a child would:  so many of us have an inner child wanting to get out.

There is lots of evidence that play is very good for people’s development:  it helps children in their ability to get on with each other, but also it develops their emotional understanding of the world, their imagination and their creativity.  Another reason play is good, is because it is fun.  There is something really good and valuable in its own right about having fun.  It is good for children, but also for us adults.

I have written before about how Jesus said that he wanted us to come to him like a little child (September 2015).  That involves trust and dependence on God.  But it also includes enjoying ourselves. 

God wants us to have fun!  

God wants us to let go of our serious-minded self-importance, to stop being too sensible, and just to enjoy ourselves.

Sometimes people expect Christians to be the ones who are the party-poopers, the ones sitting in the corner refusing to laugh at a good joke.  But I firmly believe that if we were to meet Jesus in Blacon right now, he would be the one going to the parties, he would be in the centre of a group of people in the pub, roaring his head off at something.  

The abiding picture we have from the Gospels, is of Jesus sitting around a table having meals with people.  I am sure if we had been at any of those supper parties, we will have thought Jesus was very good company.  He will have been grabbing people’s attention with outrageous, hilarious stories (anyone who talks about not just a speck of dust in your eye, but a great big plank instead, certainly knows how to tell a good tale).

And Jesus’ ability to have a good laugh, to join with us in having fun and enjoying being playful is part of him being completely a human being.  Yes, he is also completely God.  That is the mystery – how he is at one and the same time totally human and God is not something we can get our heads around, but that is Jesus.  His humour, his sense of fun, is an important aspect of who he is, as much as his suffering is.  Let us relax and have fun this summer, knowing this is following in Jesus’ footsteps.

Tina Upton

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