Worship Sunday at 10:30

Bethany Evangelical
Lutheran Church

Ishpeming, Michigan † Est. 1870

 
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Easter - Holy Humor Sunday 5/3/2015

The more I look around for information on Holy Humor Sunday, the more I find. It does have a history, I’m not just making this up, and there are quite a few churches out there that do some version of it although I’m sure no two are alike; there are full liturgies available if you want them with prayers and hymns and all. Different churches also celebrate Holy Humor at different times but I think the Fifth Sunday of Easter is a particularly good time. We talk about Easter being a seven Sunday celebration but in reality it’s hard to keep that sense of celebration going. This is a way to do it though as with laughter we’re reminded of the joke God played on the powers of death and evil in raising Jesus from the dead so this is a good time. There’s really no bad time though as celebrating Holy Humor Sunday also helps to dispel the image of Christians as people who are stuffy and boring, afraid to have a good time for fear of violating one of the commandments.

We’ll take our chances this morning; if we violate a commandment or two, so be it; I’m pretty sure God’s forgiveness and grace will cover it.

The worship service was just beginning, the opening hymn was already playing when a stranger entered the church, marched straight down the center aisle and sat himself in the very first pew. "Wow," thought the pastor, "That doesn’t happen very often. I wish all my parishioners were that enthusiastic!" and he went on with the service.

At the end of the worship, the pastor was greeting the parishioners as they left . Since the stranger came so late and sat at the very front, he was one of the last ones out. "Welcome, it is good to have you with us this morning," says the pastor. "Are you new to this area and looking for a church home?" "No, not really," he said. "Well, then what brings you here today?" "Actually this is a professional visit," replied the stranger. “A professional visit?” said the pastor. “Are you a clergy person?” "No,” the man said, “ I am a bus driver, and what I’m trying to do is to figure out how you get everyone to sit in the back.”

Along the same line…
Q: How many Lutherans does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: I don't know, but I do know that if it's in the front row, it will never get fixed!

Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, 'My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50.'

The second boy says, 'That's nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100.'

The third boy says, 'I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon, and it takes eight people to collect all the money!'

It was Saturday night. The minister had worked all week on a sermon but still had nothing, plus he was just sick of having to come up with something every week, he just wanted a week off, he didn’t want to be in church the next day. Finally he decided the heck with it. He called the council president, said he had come down with a terrible stomach flu so he couldn’t possibly do the service the next day, they’d just have to have a hymn sing or something. He got off the phone and thought, good; let em see how they do without me..

He was a pretty good golfer so the next morning he got up early and drove to a golf course a hundred miles away where he was pretty sure no one would recognize him so he could spend a quiet day on the links.

Meanwhile, up in Heaven, the angels were watching all this and talking amongst themselves until one said to Jesus, "Are you going to let him get away with that?" Jesus said, "No, I’m not." The angels watched as the minister teed off on the first hole and suddenly, the wind picked up and blew the ball farther than he’d ever hit it before so it landed just short of the green, bounced a couple of times and then rolled straight into the hole. It was a 420 yard hole-in-one, by far the best shot the minister had ever made.

The angels were bewildered; they looked at Jesus and one of them said, "Why did you do that?" Jesus smiled and replied, "Who's he going to tell?"

A rabbi and a priest got into a car accident and it was a pretty bad one. Both cars were totally demolished, but amazingly, neither one of them was hurt. They crawled out of their cars and the rabbi saw the priest's collar and said, "So you're a priest. I'm a rabbi. Just look at our cars. There's nothing left but we are unhurt. This must be a sign from God. God must have meant that we should meet and be friends and live together in peace the rest of our days." And the priest said, "I agree with you completely. This must be a sign from God."

Then the rabbi said, "I’ll be darned, look at this. Here's another miracle. My car is completely demolished but this bottle of Mogen David wine didn't break, surely God wants us to drink this wine and celebrate our good fortune. And so he handed the bottle to the priest. The priest said he agreed, took a few big swigs, and handed the bottle back to the rabbi. The rabbi took the bottle, put the cap back on without drinking any, and handed it back to the priest. The priest asked, "aren't you going to have any?" And the rabbi replied, "No . . . I think I'll just wait for the police to get here."

Attending a wedding for the first time, a little girl whispered to her mother, 'Why is the bride dressed in white?'

The mother replied, 'Because white is the color of happiness, and today is the happiest day of her life.'

The child thought about this for a moment then said, 'So why is the groom wearing black?'

Jesus walked into a bar and said, “Could I just have a glass of water?”

A small airplane crashed on a deserted island but miraculously none of the six passengers were killed. But after initially being thankful that they were alive they all soon become scared that nobody would ever find them on such a remote island and they’d all die anyway; all except for one man who wasn’t afraid. He said to the others “Don’t worry I make $250,000 a week." The others said, "That’s not going to help; you’re money is useless. We’re the only ones here, there is no food, hardly any vegetation at all; we’re all going to die." The man repeated, "I make $250,000 a week; we will be okay." The others shot back, "All your money will not help us survive; it would have been better to be killed in the crash, now we’re all just going to die a slow death." This time the man said, "I make $250,000 a week and I give ten percent to the church; I assure you, my Lutheran Pastor will find us!"

One balmy evening in the South Pacific a navy ship spied smoke coming from one of three huts on an uncharted island. Upon arriving on shore, the crew was met by a man who said he’d survived a shipwreck some years before. He said, “I’m so glad you’re here. I’ve been all alone on this island for five years.”

The captain of the ship was confused though and asked, “If you’re all alone, why do I see three huts?” The survivor answered, “Well, I live in one and go to church in the other.” The captain said, “That’s two, what about the third hut?” “Oh,That’s where I used to go to church.”

A young boy was saddened to discover that his pet hamster had died during the night.

He was being consoled, as best he could,by his friend who had come over to play in his backyard.

"Why don't we have a funeral service for him?" suggested his friend.

"I don't know how to do that." was the reply.

The young visitor explained that he had been to funeral serviceonce, and thought he remembered enough about how it all went.

"First you need to dig a hole, and then place the departed loved one alongside the hole." Which they did.

"Then you stand around and tell stories about all the great times you had together." Which they also did.

"Then somebody says a prayer." They did the best they could with that one.

"Then they end it all by saying, 'In the name of the Father, and of the Son......"

Then the young visitor gave the hamster a quick little kick with his foot.

"And in the Hole He Goes!"

"Amen!"

During these serious and troubled times, people of all faiths should remember these four great religious truths: 1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God's Chosen People. 2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. 3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian world. 4. Baptists do not recognize each other at the liquor store.

At the end of the announcements before worship the pastor said, There will be a meeting of the Board immediately after the service.”

When worship was over, the Church Board gathered in one of the Sunday School classrooms for the announced meeting. But there was a stranger in their midst -- a visitor who had never attended their church until that morning.

"My friend," said the pastor, "Didn't you understand that this is a meeting of the Board?"

"Yes," said the visitor, "and after your sermon this morning Pastor I thought I should come to the meeting because I gotta think I’m as bored as anyone here."

priest was walking to church one morning when he saw a member of his parish working in his garden. The priest stopped and asked "Can't you hear those bells calling you to church?"

"Eh, what's that?" the man said.

"Can't you hear those bells calling you to church?"

"I'm afraid you'll have to speak a little louder!"

"CAN'T YOU HEAR THOSE BELLS CALLING YOU TO CHURCH?!" shouted the priest.

"I'm sorry Father," said the man, "I can't hear a word you’re saying because of those damn BELLS!"

At a Wednesday evening church meeting a very wealthy man rose to give his testimony.

"I'm a millionaire," he said, "and I attribute it all to the rich blessings of God in my life. I can still remember the turning point in my faith, like it was yesterday:

I had just earned my first dollar and I went to a church meeting that night. The speaker was a missionary who told about his work and how funds were always scarce. I knew that I only had a single dollar bill; it was all I had but I was moved to give it all to the Lord, to give it all to God’s work. From that time on I was blessed with great success. I believe that God has guided me and that is why I am a rich man today."

As he finished it was clear that everyone had been very moved by his story. But, as he took his seat, a little old lady sitting in the same pew leaned over and said: "That was an amazing thing you did! I dare you to do it again!"

The pastor was doing some visits in the neighborhood, riding the bicycle he liked to use in good weather. He turned a corner and came upon a young boy sitting in a lawn chair with a lawn mower beside him with a For Sale sign on it. He stopped and asked, How much do you want for the lawn mower? The boy said, I just need enough to buy a bicycle. The pastor thought for a moment and said, I have a deal for you: how about if I trade you my bicycle for the lawn mower? Perfect, the boy said. It’s a deal.

Before completing the deal the pastor figured he’d better find out if the mower worked. So he started pulling on the cord, but nothing, it didn’t even turn over. He tried it again and still nothing. This thing doesn’t work he said to the boy. Is there any gas in it? The boy said, Yeah, there’s gas in it, but my father says you have to curse at it. The pastor said, Young man, I’m a man of God; I don’t curse or swear, I don’t use foul language. In fact it’s been so long since I did that I don’t think I even remember any bad words. The boy smiled and said, Keep pulling on that cord and I’m pretty sure some of ‘em will come back to you.

A man died one day and found himself waiting in the long line of judgment. As he stood there he noticed that some souls were allowed to march right through the pearly gates into Heaven. Others though, were led over to Satan who threw them into the burning pit. But every so often, instead of hurling a poor soul into the fire, Satan would toss them off to one side into a small pile. After watching Satan do this several times, the fellow's curiosity got the best of him. So he strolled over to ask Satan what he was doing. "Excuse me, Prince of Darkness," he said. "I'm waiting in line for judgment, but I couldn't help wondering, why are you tossing those people aside instead of flinging them into the Fires of Hell with the others?" "Ah, those . . ." Satan said with a groan. "They're all Yoopers. They're still too cold and wet to burn."

Ole died. The regular pastor of the local Lutheran Church was on vacation, so a neighboring one came to do the service. Before the funeral, the minister met with Lena to ask her a little about Ole so he could get to know him better. He gathered some information and some remembrances and then asked: "Do you happen to know what Ole's last words were before he died?" Lena thought for a moment then replied: "I think it was, Lena, put down that gun!"

George went on a vacation to the Middle East with most of his family, including his mother-in-law. During their vacation, and while they were visiting Jerusalem, George's mother-in-law died. With the death certificate in hand, George went to the American Consulate Office to make arrangements to send the body back to the States for proper burial. The Consul, after hearing of the death of the mother-in-law, told George, "My friend, the sending of a body back to the States for burial is very, very expensive. It could cost as much as $10,000 dollars." The Consul continued, "In most of these cases, the person responsible for the remains decides to bury the body here. This would only cost $150 dollars". Without hesitating at all George said to the Consul, "I don't care how much it costs; send the body back. That's what I want to do." The Consul, after hearing this says, "You must have loved your mother-in-law very much, considering the difference in price between $10,000 and $150 dollars." "No, it's not that," says George. "You see, I’ve heard of a case many, many years ago of a person that was buried here in Jerusalem, and three days later he was alive again. Whatever it costs, send her back; that’s a chance I don’t want to take.

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible - Psalm 23. She gave the youngsters a month to learn the chapter. Little Ricky was excited about the task - but he just couldn't remember the Psalm. After practicing all week he could still barely get past the first line. On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite Psalm 23 in front of the congregation, Ricky was more nervous than he’d ever been. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, "The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know."

Rev. Warren Geier

 
 

Bethany Lutheran Church
715 Mather Avenue
Ishpeming, MI 49849

Phone: 906-486-4351
Fax: 906-486-9640
contact@bethanyishpeming.org

Rev. Warren Geier, Pastor
pastor@bethanyishpeming.org

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“Whoever
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