Easter shenanigans

As a young girl I remember overhearing a church visitor say that you can always spot a pastor in a room because they the ones who don’t look like are having any fun. I probably remember this so well because my dad happened to be the not-having-fun-pastor this visitor was talking about. Now I’m the pastor who is well aware of the occupational hazard of taking myself, my work, and life too seriously. Perhaps that is why I sometimes ask worship leaders to bring a joke to share with me before worship begins. My favorite one so far is this: “Ruth, how do priests make holy water?” Answer: “They boil the hell out of it.”

In a growing number of Christian churches, the Sunday after Easter is a time to tell jokes in church and play practical jokes on the pastor, probably because in general, pastors could probably lighten up a bit. Maybe we could all lighten up a bit at times. And what better time to do that than the Sunday after Easter, after God played the most epic joke of all on death?
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Therefore this coming Sunday we at Rainbow will be joining the ranks of Christians who will observe Holy Humor Sunday, or Laughter Sunday, or Holy Hilarity Sunday. The witty Mike Horner will bring the teaching called “Grocery Gospel,” there will be a time of sharing bulletin bloopers, and the organ will be joined by the kazoo (or the other way around). Meanwhile, the pastor will be out of town this weekend creating some of her own post-Easter shenanigans—details of which you will never know.

As we prepare for Sunday, consider these affirmations of humor compiled by Rev. Chris Anderson:

A Communion of Saints
Affirmation of Humor

Ecclesiastes:
“there is a time to weep and a time to laugh.”

Chrysostom:
“laughter has been implanted in our souls.”

Aquinas: There is a time for
“playful deeds and jokes.”

Luther:
“You have as much laughter as you have faith.”

Calvin:
“we are nowhere forbidden to laugh.”

Francis De Sales:
“humor is a foundation for reconciliation.”

Wesley:
“A sour religion is the devil’s religion.”

Kierkegaard:
“Humor is intrinsic to Christianity.”

Dostoevsky:
“If a person laughs well they are a good person.”

Chesterton:
“A good joke is the closest thing we have to divine revelation.”

Bonhoeffer:
“Ultimate seriousness is not without a dose of humor.”

Fulton Sheen:
“The only time laughter is wicked is when it is turned against he who gave it.”

Flannery O’Conner:
“Christianity is a strangely cheery religion.”

Elton Trueblood:
“Never trust a theologian without a sense of humor.”

Charles Schultz:
“Humor is proof that everything is going to be alright with God nevertheless.”

Krister Stendhal:
“humor, along with irony, forms a safeguard against idolatry.”

Eric Gritsch:
“Humor is thus anchored in a self-knowledge that indicates one’s limitations.”

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