The Best Medicine

So… a horse goes into a bar. The bartender asks, “Why the long face?”

Two men throw a party. Someone asks, “What’s the celebration?” They say, “We just finished a jigsaw puzzle, and it only took us six week!” “Six weeks? Isn’t that awfully long for a jigsaw puzzle?” “Oh”, the men reply, “but the box said six years!”

Thought for the day: Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like bananas.

Okay, so these are all pretty old, pretty bad jokes. But at least I’m trying. Because I think that laughter is a gift from God. And that we are often at our very worst when we take ourselves too seriously. That is certainly true for us as individuals (how many times have I come unglued with family or friends over something quite petty, because I was in such a rush, my agenda was so important, my plans were so serious?)

I believe it is equally true for us as a congregation. How many times have we neglected the needy, put off the stranger, forgotten our God because we have been in a rush, with agendas which seemed so heady, and plans which felt so deadly serious?

It seems to me that the church must also be about fun, and that laughter and light-heartedness is essential to carry on any ministry, or to offer any authentic witness to the God of wedding feasts and prodigal homecomings and resurrection wonders.

It is not only healthy (some would say “the best medicine”), it is also effective, to laugh at church. For what is more engaging, more appealing, and more persuasive than a community with enough trust and acceptance to laugh, to play, and to revel together as children of God?

So… a priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar. And the bartender says, “Is this a joke?”

I hope so. Especially if you are laughing right along with me!

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