Psalm 126

Then our mouth was filled with laughter and our tongue with shouts of joy (v. 2).

I’m a pushover for a good sketch comedy. Memorable characters, good timing, witty dialogue, and physical gags are essential elements of well-crafted skits. But the funniest moments are often when the actors make each other laugh. One of my favorites was on Saturday Night Live, when Kristin Wiig drove the scooter over Maya Rudolf in the Super Showcase Showdown, causing the rest of the cast to lose it. I also love when Tim Conway made Harvey Korman crack up, which happened at least once in every episode of The Carol Burnett Show. When the laughter and joy inside the actors’ spirit became uncontrollable, they couldn’t help but break character.

The psalmist knows that we all need to break character periodically. We play our parts day in and day out, presenting ourselves to others with what we believe they need from us. We conceal parts of ourselves to make ourselves look better, to appear more professional, or simply to survive. But when true joy bubbles up from our spirit, it causes us to break the character we’ve been trying to maintain, allowing our true selves to shine through our facade.

So, the next time you feel that uncontrollable giggle swelling up from your gut, go ahead and let it out. Let the joy inside break through. When we live into the joy that God wants for us, our countenance returns to that gift which God created it to be. God needs people whose mouths are filled with laughter and whose tongues shout of joy.


What characters have I been playing that keep God’s joy from shining through me? What is the worst that could happen if I occasionally break character? What might let God’s joy loose today?


God, may the joy of my salvation so shine that my countenance can’t help but reflect your laughter. Amen.

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