It was on an Easter Sunday, 1972 I believe
and Grant United Church, my home church, the little church by the Lake,
saw a rather large confirmation class lined up along the front of the church.
There were four of us.
We had memorized the shorter catechism —
and knew a sacrament was an “outward and visible sign
of the internal and invisible work of God’s grace.”
And then we waited …
through the first four verses of Here, O My Lord, I See Thee Face to Face
through the slow dance of the elders folding the white cloth covering the elements,
through the many words of the Great Thanksgiving
Here is bread coming to me in the hands of my stern grandfather elder.
And I started to laugh.
It was that “church laugh” that sparks unexpectedly
and builds against the resistance of trying to hold it inside.
Perhaps it was youthful giggling inspired by the strain of sombre silence
or by my sister with a knack of inciting trouble.
But I remember the laughter.
No doubt a “look” from my mother put an end to it
but I remember the laughter.
I’ll never forgot.
And I now wonder if this laughter was the gift of this invisible God’s grace
coming to me for the first time in bread and wine.
Often as children, we come close to Mystery and Mystery comes close to us,
and perhaps this was Joy visiting.
Perhaps this Laughter was the Mystery of Easter
and the Holy Humour of God.