Cambridge Christian Union (CICCU) have set up a prayer room this weekend ahead of the carol services happening Monday and Wednesday of this week, and I went there this morning. (The photo above is shamelessly taken of a piece of art left in the room!) This I wrote as a way to process something that came up as I was there.
I write down my prayers (because I get derailed too easily otherwise), and occasionally my prayers ‘get ahead’ of my thoughts. This means that my prayers a) don’t make sense to read back b) sometimes have things to teach me.
This is an extract from this morning. The dashes aren’t in the original, but since I don’t punctuate my prayers I’ve put them in so it’s easier to read.
Infect me/ like laughter is infectious/ a joy rising up that cannot be quelled/ that ruptures into the darkness
that is caught by others/ and your presence on them sounds different/ but isn’t it beautiful?
This clearly doesn’t really make sense, but it’s the basis of what I was taught whilst I prayed today. That the Spirit is something like laughter.
When I truly laugh I am consumed just by whatever has brought amusement to me, I feel fully myself, fully alive, but there is also something about a full belly-ache laugh that is beyond my controlling.
And I was thinking that as a people of God, a Christian Union, a church, we should be like people who are full of laughter. People consumed by the presence of God, who are brought alive by it, by the wonder of the God of the universe within them. People who are always bringing others in – because who doesn’t want to laugh, to have the Lord with them, to know the sweetness of having the Spirit upon them?
But also, laughter is freeing. And we have the Spirit to enable us to enjoy the freedom we have in Christ. A freedom that I was reading about in Galatians (yep, I’ve finished Corinthians aha). Galatians 5:1 says:
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Galatians is part of the letters of Paul, and here Paul warns against becoming chained by the law, for Christ came with freedom that we didn’t have to be. Paul tells us that the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love, and he tells us to ‘keep in step’ with the Spirit.
Because the Spirit is what has come to enable our freedom, that we may live as Christ lived, love as Christ loved and do as Christ did. The Spirit marks a new fuller way of life.
And this image of laughter reminded me of this, it revealed something more to me about the richness and vibrancy of life with the Spirit, taught me something more of the Spirit’s beauty as opposed to just its usefulness.
The Spirit is like laughter.