Lighten up, Francis

Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:1-2

I think God has a wonderful sense of humor.  I remember staring at the head of a horse one time for about an hour when I worked on a ranch, and the longer I looked at it, the funnier it looked. I went from horse to cow and it got even funnier.  Then I began to think of a giraffe and a duckbill platypus and soon I was giggling like a school girl.

There is something a bit ornery about God.  He has Jesus turn 200 gallons of water into wine and then sits back and watches Southern Baptist pastors do double back flips trying to explain it to their teetotalling congregations.  Don’t get me started about Pentecostals speaking in tongues, being slain in the spirit, barking like dogs, Benny Hinn’s world famous comb-over, and Mark Driscoll teaching about sex from the pulpit.  Funny stuff.

Or…

And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends. 1 Kings 16:11

You can’t make this stuff up.

God makes ax heads float in the Old Testament for no apparent reason.  He sends a plague of frogs to Egypt to convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites. After stepping on frogs for a day or two and chasing them out from between bed sheets, Pharaoh finally says, “Let me think about it one more night.”  Really?  One more night with Kermit on your pillow?

Jokes are about surprising and absurd reversals.  Like the joke a friend sent me this week.  “How does Moses make tea?  Wait for it.  Wait…. Hebrews it.”

Or how about this one: A Sunday school teacher asked her children on the way to service, “And why is it necessary to be quiet in church?” One little girl replied, “Because people are sleeping.”

One time I gave a devotion to a group of men at a denominational meeting and thought it would be cool to close the talk with me leading a short praise song just long enough to get the group to begin to sing along and while they finished singing it, I would go sit down.  Simple enough.  I taught my devotion about the beauty of Jesus and began to sing the song to the men, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…” At this point I assumed they would recognize the tune and join in, but apparently I was so off key they had no idea what song I had invited them to sing.  I had to keep singing (if you can call it that) until by sheer word recognition they figured it out and redeemed the song.

Jesus, there’s just something about that name.  Master, Savior, Jesus…”

Face, beet-red, I went to sit down beside my friend, Andy, who leaned over to me and said, “I don’t think I have ever heard that song done that way.”

This week as our Life Group finished eating dessert, a stranger walked into my house.  Someone shouted, “Howdy, come on in.”  He did.  I was in the kitchen and didn’t see who it was. I listened to the chatter, but didn’t recognize the voice.  I walked into the living room to see a young man with his hands shoved deeply in his pockets and a big smile on his face.  The front door was closed behind him.

“Hi.”

“Hello,” he said.

“How are you?”

“I’m fine.  You?” he said.

“Good.”

Awkward moment.

“Who are you?” I asked.

“I’ve come for the chair.”

“What chair?”

“The chair on Craig’s List.  I’ve come to pick it up for my mom.”

“I haven’t listed anything on Craig’s List.”

“Oh,” he said with a confused look on his face.  “Is this 4819?”

“Yes.”

“Well, I called and the lady said there would be a bunch of cars out front but to come on in, so….”

Awkward moment number two.

“Would you like a cupcake?” I asked.  “And a cup of coffee?”

“Ummmm.  Sure.”

Connor

He came in and sat down, while we all laughed, he laughed…in fact, we laughed so hard the backs of our heads hurt.  We found out his name is Connor and he drove up from Gig Harbor, but lives in Des Moines.  I took a picture of him and we all laughed and laughed and he laughed.

Frequently throughout the evening someone would think of him and start to laugh and we all would join in.  It was a great night.

If we are willing to laugh at ourselves, we will never be in want of good material.  And when we begin to take ourselves too seriously as Christians, all we have to do is turn on the TV, watch some TBN, look in the mirror, or go to the zoo.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus…everybody now…

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2 thoughts on “Lighten up, Francis

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