In 2010 the San Francisco Giants were in the World Series with the Texas Rangers. Game 1 was tense for us Giants with over fifty years of longing for a title and we were heading into the series as big-time underdogs. I was listening to the game in my car waiting for Jed (son) to finish football practice at Kimball Field. And just like that Juan Uribe hits a 3-run homer. I got so excited I jumped out of my car with a yell and started jumping up and down. A homeless guy sitting on the grass a few yards away came running over and he joins in with me jumping up and down and giving me high-fives. We ran around my car and pumped our fists into the air. I remember leaning back and yelling out a loud "Whoohoo!" And he did the same. I started to crawl back in my car after the celebration but he stopped me.
"Hey, why we so happy?" he asks.
In that moment my homeless celebrant, friend, taught me three aspects of the human condition.
1. We all want to celebrate… and we will celebrate just for the heck of celebrating that's how desperate we are to experience happiness and joy and laughter. The great theologian Karl Barth said, “Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God”
2. We all want to celebrate with someone. Its no fun celebrating alone. I was the lone crazy nut until my homeless friend joined with me. Nobody was looking at me oddly any longer... someone was validating my public celebration.
3. We all want to know “Why we so happy?” We want the celebration to go deeper than just being happy for happiness sake. That gets old quick. We want our celebrations to have meaning, depth, spiritual reality.
So why we so happy? Well happiness comes from a root word that is also connected to the word happenings (hap). Something has happened, is happening, that is erupting into happiness. This happening is a good happening, or Good News. What has happened that we are happy? The Kingdom of Heaven is here, now and proof of that is God has raised Jesus up from the dead. This is really good news for those who believe. The Happening means God is making all things new again. The resurrection of Jesus is proof that God is going to restore the entire cosmos. And it also means that right now we can experience transformation and new birth, as a way of being a sign and foretaste of the kingdom that is and that is coming.
So we can celebrate and party, be happy! The following video we played as we danced and celebrated "Why we so happy!"