May 02, 2021: Episode 93 | Speaking of Ridiculous
The message that sparked the conversation ... Laughed At.
When was the last time you did something ridiculously embarrassing? Were you able to laugh at yourself? That’s our topic this week - join us!
(1) Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "You don't grow up until you have your first good laugh at yourself." When was a time you had a good laugh at yourself?
(2) President John F. Kennedy said, "There are three things which are real: God, human folly, and laughter. The first two are beyond our comprehension. So, we must do what we can with the third." How can laughing at ourselves do us good? How might it do us harm?
(3) Research on the psychology of humor indicates that laughing at yourself has many benefits. But, it's also one of the most difficult humor habits to practice (see Paul McGhee, Humor as Survival Training). What makes it more or less difficult for you to laugh at yourself?
(4) The Book of Jonah is sometimes described as "comedy" or "satire," because the main character is made to look ridiculous through his own words and actions. Martin Luther also described Jonah as a "pleasant and wonderful account," commenting on God's "wonderful attractiveness," and how God "toys with," "winks at," and "played with" Jonah in "a gentle, fatherly way" so "that Jonah might give up his anger" (Luther's Works, Vol 19). If we follow Jesus and take Jonah as a real-life account (see Matthew 12:41), then it seems Jonah shared his story with us not only so that we could laugh at him, but also that we might laugh at ourselves when we're being ridiculous. As Phillip Cary said, we must be "willing to identify with the ridiculous prophet ourselves. Otherwise we miss the point of the joke" (Jonah, 17). As you listen to Jonah 2:10-4:4, what's a word or a phrase that gets your attention?
(5) Listening to this, what are you getting to know more deeply about the God and Father of Jesus?
(6) How is this good news for you, today?
(7) Reflecting on this, what would you want to say to people?