Holy Humor Sunday: Words of Introduction

You might remember. Back in March of Twenty-Twenty, everything changed.

Like many of you, I experienced my whole job changing. The things I love most about ministry, the things I know how to do— opening the word of God with all of you when we’re in the same room, visiting people in the hospital, hosting our Lenten series of speakers from the community—all these things got taken away!

I remember telling the church staff. Look, it’s like I know how to paint a mural on the side of a building, but then somebody swooped in and stole all my rollers and brushes and replaced them with pool noodles, and there you go! And we’ve still got to paint the mural!

And you saw what happened… In the past year and a half, some things turned out even better because who knew that pool noodles can do some things that paintbrushes can’t. Of course, some things were not as great. (I don’t think we’re going to start a new Easter tradition of Christ the Lord is Risen Today on the ukulele. That was fine, but probably once was enough…)

It’s been challenging to have to adapt. For all of us. But it’s also been funny.

There’s a gorgeous line in a song by Leonard Cohen that has been getting me through.

It goes:
“Ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything —
That’s how the light gets in.”

Sure enough, in this season of immense grief and dismay, there has been a glittering ribbon of humor, and I will tell you, I don’t think we can afford to ignore it! This shimmering humor comes from the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Often God is not given enough credit for being funny, but you know God. She is hilarious! A joke works by subverting our expectations, and God does that too.

It is God who topples the tyrants from their thrones and lifts up the lowly. When we were expecting a king, God gave us a baby. When we went and killed that king, God got up from the dead. Surprise! says the Spirit. Joke’s on you!

It is God who turns death into life and weeping into joy and when our paintbrushes get turned into pool noodles, you know it is God who is watching us and cracking up. Oh don’t worry, says the LORD. I’m laughing *with* you!

May God give blessing to our reading and hearing of this holy word…

Genesis 18:9-15
Genesis 21:1-6

Mad Libs Prayer of Praise
O you who scatter the stars across the sky!
You who made the 1.SQUIRREL and took one look at it and laughed!
You who call the world into being and breathe life into each of us!
We praise you O Holy Spirit!

Since the pandemic started approximately 2. THREE THOUSAND weeks ago,
This has been a rough season for us. It has been a rough season for you.
You hear our prayers when they’re made of cursing and tears.
You hear our prayers when they’re made of 3. FELT.
You hear our prayers when they’re made of praise and laughter!

These days, especially, we’re not sure how everything is going to turn out.
Sometimes we feel worry scrambling and clawing in our hearts
like a hamster trapped in a 4. TUPPERWARE CUP
Even here…
Our worry is no match for your deep peace.
Your peace pours into our hearts and reminds us of who we really are: We are yours.

And you are still turning the world toward love!
You turn paintbrushes into pool noodles and emptiness into possibility!
You turn sorrow into singing
and death into new 5. GOD

We praise you O Author of 6. DOGS with our voices
and with our 7. HEARTS
We praise you by 8. WEIGHTLIFTING
We praise you with everything we have and everything we are!
Our laughter comes from you, Spirit of Light and Lightheartedness!

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