It’s a long-standing tradition among some Christians, especially in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, to come to church on Easter Sunday ready to tell a joke. This is a way of celebrating that on Easter morning, to everyone’s surprise, it was God who had the last laugh, not the Roman Empire, not the institutional religious authorities, and certainly not the devil. It is God who has the last word.
And so, because I’m happy to honor any tradition that I like, I’ve come to church, for the third Easter in-a-row with a couple of jokes to share. And what makes these jokes special is the fact that YOU, the members of this church have sent them to me over the past year. And so there they were, just languishing in my email, waiting for this morning.
Surprisingly, many of the jokes that you send me have something to do with the length of the preacher’s sermons. I find them amusing, especially since I’m convinced that these jokes MUST be referring to the frequent GUEST preachers that we have!
Here’s an example: A little girl became restless as the preacher’s sermon dragged on and on. Finally, she leaned over to her mother and whispered, “Mommy, if we give him the money now, will he let us go?”
After a worship service at First Baptist Church in Newcastle, Kentucky, a mother with a fidgety seven-year-old-boy told the secret to getting her son to finally sit still and be quiet. About halfway through the sermon, she leaned over and whispered, “If you don’t be quiet, Pastor Charles is going to lose his place and he’ll have to start his sermon all over again!”
And finally this one… especially for Grandfathers: A little girl was sitting on her grandfather’s lap as he read her a bedtime story. From time to time, she would take her eyes off the book and reach up to touch his weathered, wrinkled cheek. She would alternately stroke her own cheek and then touch his again.
Finally she spoke up: “Grandpa, did God make you?
“Yes, sweetheart,” he answered, “God made me a long time ago.”
“Oh,” she paused, “Grandpa, did God make me too?”
“Yes, indeed, honey,” he said, “God made you just a little while ago.”
Stroking their faces again, she observed, “God’s getting better at it, isn’t he?”
— Excerpt from Hal Murry’s Easter Sermon: “I Have Seen the Lord!”, March 27, 2016