You don't want to hear God speak these final words: "Fool, how did all that pointless play put my glory in display?" (John Piper, with some words he envisions God speaking) (h/t Bird over at Thinklings)To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1,4)
God is not always what we expect. God has shown himself to be playful at times: he included a pun (wordplay) in his instructions to Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:11-12). It is not always a time to play; but there is a right time for it.
- God is said to delight, rejoice, and sing. (Zephaniah 3:17)
- If the Book of Psalms was in any sense written by God, then God writes poetry and music.
- The Bible tells us also to play music and sing. (Psalm 33:3)
- Jesus' first miracle for the multitudes was wine for a wedding feast. (John 2)
- Jesus compares the coming kingdom to the celebration of a wedding feast. (Matthew 22:2)
- Morality is, in its highest and truest form, love (Matthew 22:37-40).
- Love is meant to be the special mark of Christ's followers (John 13:35).
- Love is by nature joyful, though in a broken world this has exceptions.
So how does play put God's glory on display? It is an act of faith in God's goodness, an act of love towards those included, and a demonstration of hope in the feast to come.When it is a time to weep and mourn, then laughing does not glorify God; when it is a time to laugh and dance, then staying solemn does not glorify God.
Or, for those who like to rhyme (as Piper did), we might say, "How does all that angry coldness demonstrate God's love's boldness?"