Playful, Lawful and Joyful are three grains of wheat that have come to life, and are at various stages of their lives. They are members of the same field under the care of the same Sower. Playful is sporty. He is a new seminary graduate and fun comes naturally to him. To him, work is fun and fun a serious business. Uncle Lawful has his hands full of work. Producing wheat is his primary goal. Joyful is a happy soul. Her life revolves around her Sower.
Playful is appointed as the new pastor of the Wheat Fellowship in which both Lawful and Joyful are the board of elders. Following is a glimpse of their church board meeting where Playful is welcomed.
Lawful: Welcome, Pastor Playful. We look forward to your young and vibrant shepherding of the old and the vigilant.
Playful: Ah! Thank you!
Joyful: He just meant old vine. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it! We are happy to have you with us and are eager to witness this Sunday service.
God has ordained rest, and fun does relax us. But no rest is outside the bounds of moral fences and the Master’s realm. A rest that flows from the cross sanctifies our life in rest.
Playful: (Is it the vine with a ‘V’ or a ‘W’? Sounds like fun, mused Playful to himself). I’m equally delighted.
Lawful: Joyful, can you please introduce our young pastor to the order of service and the way we operate things here?
Playful: Perhaps, I must introduce you to the new order of service we will have henceforth, uncle Lawful.
Lawful: Ah! There goes some young blood. So, how will that look like?
Playful: Fun! Yes, fun it is! We will start the service with an ice-breaker instead of an invocation and end with some beats instead of a benediction. #normalisboring# #carefortheyoung#
Lawful: Great! Why don’t we throw away the preaching as well? We can have some play instead?
Playful: Not a bad idea! Let’s keep our sheep happy. People come to church to feel good and encouraged. Not to be blasted from pulpits and made to lament by singing the songs of Victorian era.
Lawful: Interesting! Ridiculously utilitarian in some sense, perhaps even hedonistic! A fun that ignites self—and pleasure as its ultimate objective—will replace the altar?
Playful: Interesting! Ridiculously legalistic in some sense, perhaps even archaic. You and I are the altars, uncle. Would you like to be replaced? #funlessfaith#
Joyful: Ahem! Let’s have some cookies.
Playful: Can you smile for a selfie, uncle Lawful? Hope it isn’t taxing. Capturing my first meeting for chaffbook, whitter and wheatsapp. #selfietime#
Lawful: Oh! I didn’t know even you are into this I, me and myself business. #funisaddictive#, pastor?
Playful: (Almost zapped) Fun to me isn’t an addiction; it is relaxation and motivation. Wish we have the courage to look beyond our perceptions. Or at least attempt to peep into our neighbour’s church in the Mammon’s field. It’s all fun there. #‘fun’tasticmotivation#
What has faith to do with fun? We don’t come to church to rest. We come to worship.
Lawful: I have no business with the Mammon’s field, if that is the object of your motivation. Faith is what we were taught and faith is what I keep to.
Joyful: Faith doesn’t run away from fun, and fun doesn’t shy away from faith.
Playful: Fun and faith? Are you from the Wheaton School of Orthodoxy?
Joyful: (With a subtle smile) It’s faith and fun. I’m from the Sower’s family just like you.
Lawful: Pastor, has your seminary taught you some neo-orthodox Decalogue or Beatitudes that include fun?
Joyful: I’m not sure of the seminary but I’m sure our Sower is fun to be with! What say, pastor?
Playful: Hmm… Is he? I haven’t ever pondered over it. Is that a communicable attribute of God?
Joyful: That’s for you to figure out, Pastor. But I bet you would have no idea of fun without Him. Our fun begins there, right with him! Fun is never fun without the one who made it!
Lawful: God made fun? A new creation account, as if its complications aren’t enough?!
Joyful: It is the act of the Sower that has made you the wheat you are. The breeze you enjoy, the sunshine you receive, the smile you flash (of course rarely), the nap you take, the tour you go on, the books you read or the social media that our young pastor enjoys are all the Sower’s grace and provision.
Lawful: So, you mean to say that fun is legitimate?
Joyful: God has ordained rest, and fun does relax us. But no rest is outside the bounds of moral fences and the Master’s realm. A rest that flows from the cross sanctifies our life in rest. Each of these activities can either become an idol or can draw us back to our Ideal, the Sower. If this falters, fun can become equally choking and detrimental! Faith is all it is that makes the difference.
Lawful: What has faith to do with fun? We don’t come to church to rest. We come to worship.
Joyful: Faith has to do with all of life. Our worship flows from the rest that the cross has wrought. It is the very essence and ethos of our Sower’s kingdom that is implicit in all walks of life. Healthy fun accentuates the rest ordained by our Sower. It is the same faith that allows us to rest in the seventh year while trusting our Sower to provide for our needs. Fun costs our time and resources, both given by our Sower.
Playful: Precisely! So, why should tares have all the fun?
Joyful: Have all the fun with the freedom bestowed upon you but make sure it’s not imported from the Mammon’s field. Our pursuit of life as a temple of the Sower’s Spirit doesn’t momentarily cease when we indulge in fun. The perceived exclusion of fun from our Sower is a misnomer. Fun is very much an integral part of our life—a life of worship. Fun doesn’t escape the work of cross; in fact, the cross makes fun meaningful and moral. Our faculties—mind, heart, and body— will precisely enjoy what God made us for and what God made for us. Maybe it is time to reconsider how we understand fun through the Sower’s Word and not from the world out there. Remember, true fun never harms you or hurts others. What fun is it when it becomes a stumbling block to others?
Playful: So fun-filled or fun-devoid Sunday?
Joyful: Life is fun when Christ is life! What the service should look like, we now leave it to you, Pastor. May your ministry be fun enough that the Mammon’s would turn to, and have faith enough that they would be transformed too!
Lawful: (With a loud voice) Amen! Could you smile for a selfie, pastor? Hope it isn’t taxing. #‘Faith’fulFun#