If I had known what I know now about the ministry when I was ordained I'm not too sure I would have gone into the ministry. Ministry is a tough profession--the pay is not the best--the hours can be long--the people can be feisty--and there are always a million bosses! To make it in the ministry it helps to have a sense of humor. I think that if I could not laugh about the ministry I would have given up long ago and would now be working at WalMart as one of those greeters with blue vests. It helps to laugh.
Shortly after the flood hit Joliet and flooded the church basement I received an email with a whole bunch of cartoon--The Biblical Far Side. The timing was perfect as it relieved some of the stress of the situation and helped remind me that this too would pass. I really appreciated my seminary classmate and fellow pastor for sending the cartoons. For a few moments I was lost in laughter.
On Sunday I am preaching on the Creation Story--how God created everything. In verse 14 of Genesis 1 it mentions that God separate the light from the dark. Since I have been doing my own laundry since I could reach the dials on the washer, I can fully appreciate the good Lord taking the time to separate the "lights from the darks"! Of course, God would do it right! This is something I can understand--that metaphysical stuff is beyond my reach!
I always enjoyed the stories about the "three wise guys", I mean "men". I think their names were Larry, Curly, and Moe. Of course, if we Christians were to be literal we would know that no one is sure exactly how many "wise guys" were actually in the story. All we know for certain is that they were bearing three gifts--three gifts equals three "wise guys". I know exactly what this guy is going through because I have done it too; and, yes, you can break your nose stepping on a rake!
The stories of Jesus have always fascinated me. There was nothing this guy couldn't do--he was just super cool. He was the sort of guy everyone wanted to hang out with in high school. He could do it all!
I especially liked when he "cleared the Temple"--I never knew he could skate board! Whoa, dude! That is impressive! Then again, anything that Jesus did he did better than anyone else.
Hey, the guy could even walk on water--stop the storming seas--heal people--bring the dead back to life--and, he even beat death himself. The guy was--and is--impressive. It is no wonder all of us followers of Jesus, us Christians, flock to him with blind and undying devotion--the guy was cool! But that doesn't mean we always get it. Sometime we misunderstand . . .
But, we try our best. Though we do not always get it we have developed (at least I hope we have) a sense of humor about it all. The laughing Jesus is one of the most popular portraits of him within Christianity. Everyone loves a good joke and Jesus probably told the best jokes. I will even venture out to say that he even understood my favorite joke--two men walk into a bar, the third one ducks. Shoot, I bet he even told that one a time or two to loosen up the disciples.
When times get tough I thank God that God blessed me with a sense of humor. I would not be in the ministry today if it were not for the gift of humor. I truly believe that worship is not worship without at least one outburst of laughter. We need to laugh . . . besides we Christians are a peculiar group. We are a little different than everyone else.
We need to laugh to be whole . . . to be holy. I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for humor and a little laughter. Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor--I'm in the ministry aren't I?