They said to him, ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’ And he said, ‘There, in the tent.’ Then one said, ‘I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.’ And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, ‘After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?’ The Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh, and say, “Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?” Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son.’ But Sarah denied, saying, ‘I did not laugh’; for she was afraid. He said, ‘Oh yes, you did laugh.’
Reflection by Janet Derby
One of my escapes each day is to watch clips from late night comedy shows. Recently I have noticed that the clips have at times become more satirical than humorous. Perhaps that is simply the world we find ourselves in. Perhaps it is because the hosts are performing from their homes without a live audience. I do find that I miss the laugh out loud pieces, especially during what feels like a dark time in our history. That may be why the part of this Scripture that jumped out at me was that Sarah laughed. You certainly could not blame her for laughing. After all, she and Abraham were well past the child-bearing years, so what these visitors were saying seemed absurd. She was afraid when her laughter is noted, but I do not believe God is bothered by her reaction. The way I read, “oh yes, you did laugh”, is a way of saying that while it certainly does seem impossible, she will learn that God can always surprise us and bring joy when we least expect it. That is a reassuring word in today’s environment.
God of Surprise and Laughter, may we continue to find joy in the world and take time to laugh. Help us to remember that nothing is too wonderful for you and to spread joy and wonder to others. Amen.