Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)
TITLE: Fellowship of Laughter
By Stevie McHugh
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The six of us were eating lunch at the usual gas station slash restaurant after ministering in a Beaumont prison. Seated at four tiny tables we pushed together, all of us got tickled. Did God supernaturally anoint our drinks with essence of joy? Did He sprinkle heavenly laughter onto our French fries?
I pulled out my video camera, deciding then and there to film a television episode about the joy of the Lord. I hosted and produced a talk and music show for young people back then, called No Fear.
To me, it was as though what happened on the inside of me during our ministry times got on the outside and created a hilarious scene. We surely looked like drunks, we were laughing so hard over nothing.
This team of people, which I was so thankful to be a part of, had traveled to various Texas prisons together at least 30 times in two years. We had experienced the oneness of the Holy Spirit on every occasion. For instance, I would often be sitting in a service and discern that something in particular should be said, such as how important it is for us to forgive others. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14,15 NKJ
Without fail, another member of the team – whether the preacher or another singer – would get up and share the very message that was on my heart, though there had been no related discussion nor even a hint about which direction the service was headed.
We had visited male prisoners most times but female prisoners, too. We were channels through which the love of God poured onto those inmates. That was my favorite part, sharing the Gospel message. Your sins can be forgiven! God loves you so much, He sacrificed His only Son so you could be with Him for all eternity!
The good news had become overwhelming joy, and we laughed until we cried. Larry’s tea even shot out through his nose! I felt like a little kid at the dinner table with my long lost funny daddy.
The best fellowship I’ve ever enjoyed as a Christian was in that gas station restaurant. Our deep shared experiences bubbled over into childlike bliss. The scene made for a fun and inspiring episode of No Fear, too. I like to think it brought laughter to a younger version of the usually stoic back-up soundman, Larry.
For most of the time since that joy-filled day, my life has been in a pruning season. God asks all of us to sacrifice the good for the better, from what I understand. I know there are many more times of heavenly fellowship on the horizon. And though that confidence doesn’t launch me into silly fits of laughter, it does keep me smiling.
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