The great English Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean (1787-1833) is reputed to have said on his death bed, “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” Holy Humor Sunday is a time when we seek to find the comedy in dying; more precisely, in the triumph over death granted us by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because God has power even over death, we can laugh as we live and as we die, confident in the “sure and certain hope” of life everlasting. That’s what we are celebrating this morning in our readings, in our songs, in our stories, in our worship.
I also wanted to include a personal note from one of Edmund Kean’s lesser antecedents: I am appearing in the UW-Fox musical, Spring Awakening, over the next two weeks. This show has an R rating for strong language and frank sexual situations. I play several roles in the show in support of the youthful cast and am proud to be a part of their company. I appreciate the point of view it offers: if you raise your children in ignorance, they will grow up to act like ignorant children. But if you would be offended by the subject matter or language; or if you would find it disconcerting to see your Pastor playing some rather mean folks, then it would be a good night for you to find a good comedy on Netflix or pick one up at a Red Box.
Might I suggest My Favorite Year in which Peter O’Toole shares the Kean quote above? Or how about Shakespeare in Love which finds much to laugh about in the midst of a young Will Shakespeare’s tragic struggles? If you want to laugh your way through the Resurrection, Cary Grant can help you in Topper or Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep in Defending Your Life. Or how about two of the best romantic comedies of all-time: Some Like It Hot and Tootsie?
May your hearts be lifted by the Resurrection and may you laugh your way through life and death!
Your friend and fellow minister,
Rev. Steve Savides