Evergreen Day 3: A Beautiful Resurrection
I think comedians are some of the most creative, profound, and masterful thinkers of the world because they observe, with such a careful eye, the plain and stupid parts of living. They’re able to twist those ironies in a way that communicates what every one of us is thinking but is unwilling to say, and they serve to their audiences a rich version of that truth which is somehow soaked in hilarious amusement. Comedy is clever in that it hits us where it hurts, but instead of crying, we laugh! We think, yes, how tragically true! Joy and sorrow come from the same place—a fountain in our gut that spills over and reminds us from time to time that we’re sweetly and perfectly human.
When asked about the overlapping or competing relationship between his faith and his comedy, Stephen Colbert says this: “I’m a Christian and that is always connected to the idea…that death is not defeat. Sadness is like a little bit of an emotional death, but it’s not a defeat if you can find a way to laugh about it, because that laughter keeps you from having fear of it. And fear is the thing that keeps you from turning to evil devices to save you from the sadness. So if there’s some relationship between my faith and my comedy, it’s that no matter what happens, you are never defeated. You must understand and see this in the light of eternity and find some way to love and laugh with each other.”
This is not to say that every difficulty is best just zipped up and turned into a joke, but it is to say that our present challenges are not the end. They are not defeat. If there is one thing we learn from the life of Jesus, it’s that we can practice, day by day, neighborly love, peace, patience, kindness, and laughter as a kind of beautiful resurrection.
To be whipped by the winds of a constant world where disappointing and horrible things abound, and to remain tender, soft, gentle, careful, and joyous is our most faithful work. It expresses hope to a people who live in despair and is the gift given to us when we abide in a simple, non-anxious presence such as the Holy Spirit.
The goodness of God shapes us, therefore the beauty of Him in us far outweighs the busyness that surrounds us or brokenness that’s done to us. Write this poignant promise down on your brightest days, so that when the dull ones come you might remember what’s true: that though we may be knocked down, we are not destroyed nor are we ever alone.
Verses to Read
5This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.
6That person will be like a bush in the wastelands;
they will not see prosperity when it comes.
They will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
7“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
8They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
1Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.