I can’t get away from Snoop Dogg these days. When watching reruns of now “older” movies like Old School and Starsky and Hutch, which always seem to be on television for some reason, there’s Snoop Dogg.
When engrossed with a new documentary called Trojan War on the rise and fall of USC football, there again is Snoop Dogg, frequently opining on the dominance of Pete Carroll’s tenure as USC’s football coach.
And just the other day there was my Thanksgiving Day prayer. You wouldn’t think Snoop Dogg would make a cameo at this holy juncture, but there I was, thanking God for food and family and the many blessings He has bestowed upon those gathered around the table, when all of sudden Snoop Dogg’s voice came over a Pandora Radio station loud and clear in between songs. (We were listening to the Brazilian bossa nova station, by the way, so you wouldn’t expect Snoop Dogg to be a likely commercial candidate. Perhaps this is also the power of Snoop Dogg.)
Well, as you can imagine, the abrupt interruption of this particular Thanksgiving Day prayer couldn’t be ignored. Everyone standing around the table immediately laughed, recognizing the irony and seeming absurdity between what was meant to be a reverent moment of divine thanks but was instead punctuated by a silly Snoop Dogg advertisement. The moment, however unexpected it was, called for an acknowledgment and thus prompted the following line of prayer, “… and thank you God for comic relief… and for Snoop Dogg.”
Now, I did not intend to be irreverent with this improvised prayer of thanksgiving. In fact, while I wrote about something similar in my very first Wondering Fair post four years ago, I would argue that the Bible is full of funny, ironic, and unexpected interruptions just like this.
Here are a just a few of the places in Scripture where seemingly absurd events transpire and, I believe, bring into (comic) relief something about God’s mysterious and deeply humorous personality:
- Genesis 17, where despite Abraham’s laughing skepticism, God brings Abraham and Sarah a child in their extremely old age.
- The entire Book of Jonah, which ought to be read with attention to satirical literary conventions
- Numbers 22:28, when God talks to Balaam through a donkey
- Jesus’ first miracle, where he turns water into wine at a wedding.
- Matthew 21:1-11, where Jesus triumphantly enters Jerusalem on a donkey
- Basically any angelic visitation throughout the Old or New Testaments
- Jesus’ resurrection and the disciples’ encounter with him on the road to Emmaus, (Luke 24)
These are just some of the events in Scripture where I think God unexpectedly interrupts our lives and our typical understandings of who we think He is and how we presume He must act. I’m sure there are more, and I’m sure I’ll have prayers in the not too distant future that will again be interrupted. But Snoop Dogg aside, these unanticipated moments of comic relief may ultimately speak to God’s comedic character. As Sarah says later after the birth of her son Isaac, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me (Gen. 21:6).