Greetings to you all
On this 2nd weekend of 2024 , we’re truly delighted to gather for our Cafe Liberty greetings in the half hour prior to 10:15 AM worship. Join us! Bring a friend.
The Liberty Ladies Love-in-Action luncheon will be held as well on the 14th, in the fellowship hall after morning service.
In the midst of so many details and decisions shaping the start of a new year, we’re enriched by the fellowship and insights of our friends. We’re so grateful for the ladies’ leaders planning these gatherings and for each of you who support their vision.
Also, as the 446th session of the Maryland General Assembly has now begun, we ask your prayers for Senator Justin Ready in his work as Minority Whip and in the added time demands this 90-day legislative session brings for his family.
The start of this new year offers all of us challenges and opportunities. Some decisions can be stressful and even the technology tools we have for tackling our tasks take valuable time and attention in order to use them wisely. Along the way, it’s incredibly valuable to sort of “come up for air” and a good laugh can help us do that.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22)
That well-known proverb puts a therapeutic spin on this very common human need. Laughter. What a gift it is, in so many aspects of life!
One guy I heard many years ago, talking about the health benefits of laughter, expressed it like this: “He who laughs lasts…and lasts…and lasts.”
Although I’m sure he had no scientific data to back that up, it’s certainly been shown that laughing freely and often has many wellness benefits.
All of us who are parents and/or grandparents know how funny it is when little ones learn, explore and express themselves in ways that uniquely and spontaneously show their personalities.
I’ve noticed something intriguing recently. Seemingly out-of-the-blue the Lord often sends us something to laugh about! Sometimes, yes, it’s from the beautiful ways children learn and grow, but it can also come from other sources: a funny story, a picture that gets us laughing, an ad or a saying that comes along like a log for a tired swimmer to help relieve some of the exertion that is a part of managing each day’s details.
What’s surprising, though, is that while we enjoy the moment, we may not see anything “spiritual” about it.
We say to ourselves: “that was funny”. Yet, it seems to be nonsensical or non-spiritual. But that’s only because we often mistake “spiritual” for “serious”.
It’s an easy mistake to make because we know, indeed, that life is serious. Huge issues of concern are a feature of every day’s duties. How easily we forget, though, that our Creator’s design for all human beings includes wonderful emotional capacities, including both laughter and tears. The natural need to laugh is as vital for wellness in the soul as is the need, at times, for tears.
This is cool. The spiritual rewards that are promised in the Gospel cover a wide scope of life’s best and most enriching experiences. A classic example of this is in the choice of instructions Jesus gave His disciples in a night that led into HIs own darkest hours. In John 14 -17, during that quiet, lengthy evening when the most serious of all issues were close at hand, Jesus chose to equip His disciples with His JOY!
Jesus said: “I have told you all this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)
Surprisingly, the focus in that upper room was not on the agony and anguish that Christ knew he would soon endure. Rather, the focus was on the promised “Comforter” whose eternally powerful presence would bring all of them the very JOY of Jesus!
How does that transfer take place when “His joy” actually becomes “our joy”?
Well, no one other than the Holy Spirit can bring it to pass but He does it through all the experiences of life. And yes, laughter plays a huge part in what He does for us. When we see a “cheerful heart” as a gift that the Holy Spirit imparts by faith, even those common bursts of laughter that can lighten the load of life become part of our adventure of walking with Jesus.
There’s so much good news in Christ to discover, to share and to explore. It includes the lively gift of laughter, a gem of generosity from the gentle Shepherd of our souls.
See you on Sunday!
How grateful we are for each of you who join us in worship via live stream and for the support you give in so many ways.
Here are the links to find us online at 10:15 AM this Sunday, January 14th and/or to watch at any other time of your choosing:
View the service live online
Listen to past services
“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”
In His love,
P.O. Box 295
Westminster MD 21158
Pastor’s cell: 410.596.4096