June 15, 2008

John Klassen - “Reasons to Laugh”

Please login to view the bulletins.

Sermon Recording: Download


Dr. John Klassen, (History Professor Emeritus, Trinity Western) spoke on the lectionary text, Genesis 18.1-15, "Reasons to Laugh". There are far too few examples of laughter recorded in scripture. Instead we are given stories of worry and suffering almost from the beginning of Scripture, when the existence and knowledge of evil is alluded to in the tale of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. . Seventh-century theologians added to this trend by encouraging Christians to search our souls for any possible unacknowledged sins, deal with them (by faith and works), and some evangelicals are still influenced by this type of thinking. However, God has always entered the world with forgiveness, grace and love, which gives us cause to laugh with joy. When Jesus comes much later, he declares (as did Proverbs) that God loves everybody, not just those who are good or have the right kind of faith (God sends rain on those who are good and those who are not.) Again, this is reason enough for joy and relieved laughter. Genesis 18 tells of Sarah's laughter (though the word in the original is quite flexible and its sexual connotations make it unusually difficult to understand). Although she had given Hagar to Abraham in order to help God by providing the family a son, God was not going to be denied the option already promised, and Sarah miraculously became impregnated, and when Isaac was born, Sarah said, "God has brought me laughter" despite her lack of faith (and Abraham’s). The day's reading from Romans 5 looks at sin as 'that which pulls you down'. Adam somehow released this tremendous power of sin, but in Romans 5 we are told that we are saved, not by our faith (or good deeds) but by the faithfulness of Jesus (Toews argues this is the best translation/understanding of the passage). With all these examples in mind, showing how God works with everybody, in spite of their lives or paucity of faith, why do we, as the church, assert that certain individuals are not worthy to preach, minister or lead worship? The day's readings demonstrate this is not the way God views, approaches, or works with individuals. Thankfully God works around our weaknesses, thinking, faults and limitations - just as in Genesis. [JEK]


Passage: Ge 18:1-15
Communion: No
Ecumenical or Event: Father's Day
Potluck Lunch: No
Congregational Meeting: No


Speaker: John Klassen
Worship Leader: Henry Neufeld
Song Leader: Andre Pekovich
Pianist: Ruth Enns
Usher: Erika Hannan
Zoom Coordinator:
Children's Feature Leader:


Bring Flowers:
Coffee Helper:
Sound Helper:


Child Care Volunteer:

Service Archives

News Archives

Subscribe to our Podcast

Add to iTunes or RSS