Anyway, the other day I was catching up on the calendar and came across this...
The power of looking happy cannot be underestimated. You'll feel better if you smile, and the reception you receive from others will be warmer. Modern life seems to lead to a rather grim set to the mouth; fight it and smile.What truth there is in those words! A couple of friends recently wrote me a beautiful note that ended with "we love that you love to laugh." It's true. I love to laugh. Smiling, laughing makes me feel better.
I'm thinking about all of this today in regards to our worship services. Sunday mornings there just isn't a whole lot of laughter and smiling. The worship team at the early service knows how to smile. I know they do, I see the smiles on Monday nights when we rehearse (I hear the laughter too!) The smiles disappear on Sunday mornings. Even the cheeriest of people stop smiling on Sunday mornings. There seems to be an unwritten rule that says "smiles in worship is out of place".
I think it was a blogger that wrote recently that they didn't believe that Jesus was as solemn as Christians make Jesus out to be and I agree. Human beings are naturally attracted to people who are good natured, have a sense of humor, smiles, or laughs. People were attracted to Jesus, curious about Jesus, kids went to him, I think he probably laughed and smiled a lot.
So why the seriousness in church? Why do we take worship so seriously that we can't smile or laugh? I think some of the worship team would tell you that they are intimidated looking out at the faces that aren't smiling back at them. Which is true. There are some people who seem to be really, really grumpy in church...but yet maybe they are taking their cues from the people in front of them. I wonder if we started smiling more, how that would translate to those looking back at us.
I have a hard time passing by someone without smiling at them. I noticed it the other day in the grocery store. If I make eye contact with another person, I automatically smile. Even in my grumpiest of moods. Sometimes people respond with a "Hi" like they think maybe they know me but aren't sure, sometimes I'll get a smile in return, sometimes not. I wonder, was that what made Jesus so approachable? Did he automatically smile at people as he passed them by? It's a thought to ponder and a challenge for the rest of us.
Next time you are out and about, smile at a random person. Do they smile back? Does it make you feel silly or does the smile last a little longer on your face? If you are the church going kind, try smiling at those leading worship on Sunday morning...see if they respond. And if you lead worship, how about smiling at the people in church? I promise, they won't bite.
Let's fight the grimness of life with a smile...and just because I love to laugh...