When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
then were we like those who dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy.
The beginning of the Psalm 126 reminds me of this advertisement for Volkswagon:
Psalm 126 also reminds me of the U2 song, Get on Your Boots, which contains these lines:
Free me from the dark dream
Candy bars, ice cream
All the kids are screaming but the ghosts aren't real
Here's what you gotta be
Love and community
Laughter is eternity if the joy is real
Is joy real? Or is life just a dark dream? Is joy real or is it just a pleasurable experience of an infusion of dopamine into our system, ultimately signifying nothing? Which is more real – joy or the ghosts of our worst fears?
We have a basic choice:
To live rooted in fear
To live rooted in delight.
Which is more real? Why one over the other? Given the tragedy, terror, and torture of this world? Given disease, decay, and death? Given injustice and oppression? Political disillusion? Why choose delight over fear or disillusion or despair?
Jesus said, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (John 15:11)
If what the Church has understood about Jesus is true – who he is and what he accomplished – then our mouths should be filled with laughter, and our tongues with shouts of joy. There is more to reality than can be weighed and measured. The world is not, finally, a meaningless accident that ends only in death. Love and Community are written into the very fabric of reality. No degree of death and darkness can ultimately unravel that reality. Sorrow and suffering are also real. But, from the heart of reality One has come enfleshing the Love and Community, Joy and Delight that is God. Jesus entered into the depths of human darkness and death – the way of the cross – and overwhelmed them with the promise of forgiveness, healing, and hope. If what the Church has claimed about Jesus is true, the “dark dreams” of this world are real, but Joy is more real. Jesus has come to set us free.
Laughter is eternity because Joy is real