Waynedale United Methodist Church
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Apr 10, 2016 Sermon

“Holy Humor”
1 Corinthians 15:12 – 22

Ted Jansen  April 10, 2016  Waynedale UMC

 

1.)        We celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ today.  Each Sunday that we gather is a reminder this great news.  He is alive.

Because He is alive we have joy, we smile, we laugh and live with faith.  The resurrection of Jesus Christ proclaims to the world that the last word in life is not death.  God laugh’s at death!  God does not allow His own Son to be buried forever. God Almighty raised Jesus from the dead with joy and laughter in His Spirit.    

            We celebrate Holy Humor Sunday as a way of affirming God’s laugh.  The tradition of Holy Humor Sunday is rooted in a time after Easter or Resurrection Sunday when people would laugh at Satan.  Satan has been defeated and so we laugh, tell jokes and remember the Good News.  Thank you to each person who gave or suggested to me jokes for this sermon.       

 

2.)        A five year old boy was seated in church beside his older sister and was talking loudly and being much too noisy to suit her.  Numerous times she would give him the “look” and say “shhhh” With no quieting him she finally said, “See those two guys in the back of the church?  They’re looking at you!  With that he asked, “are they the shushers!?”    (Larry and Deanne Riesen)

 

3.)        A little boy was walking down a dirt road after church one Sunday afternoon when he came to a crossroads where he met a little girl coming from the other direction.

"Hello!" said the little boy.

"Hi!" replied the little girl.

"Where are you going?" asked the little boy.

"I've been to church this morning and I'm on my way home", answered the little girl. "Me too", replied the little boy. "I'm also on my way home from church."

"Which church do you go to?" asked the little boy.

"I go to the Baptist church back down the road" replied the little girl. "What about you?"

"I go to the Methodist church back at the top of the hill," replied the little boy. They discover that they are both going the same way so they decided that they'd walk together. They came to a low spot in the road where spring rains had partially flooded the road so there was no way that they could get across to the other side without getting wet.

"If I get my new Sunday dress wet my Mom's going to skin me alive," said the little girl.

"My Mom will tan my hide too if I get my new Sunday suit wet," replied the little boy.

"I tell you what I think I'll do" said the little girl. "I'm going to pull off all my clothes and hold them over my head and wade across."

"That's a good idea", replied the little boy. "I'm going to do the same thing with my suit."

So they both undressed and waded across to the other side without getting their clothes wet. They were standing there in the sun waiting to drip dry before putting their clothes back on when the little boy finally remarked.

"You know, I never did realize before just how much difference there really is between a Baptist and a Methodist."   (Anonymous)

 
 

4.)        Paul is teaching the church in Corinth in his letter that if they don’t believe in resurrection then there is no bodily resurrection of Christ.  If that is true then the preaching of the gospel is not true.  We do not have a faith in the risen Christ.  Faith is based on false truth.  This means the Christian faith is without meaning and content, and Christians are hopeless concerning their future.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is foundational to our life of faith.   We affirm the truth in 1 Corinthians 15:22.  “In Christ all will be made alive!”    

As Christ was brought to life from death we are made alive.  This means so much and at a basic level it means we can know that our sins are forgiven, we are free to love, we can be loved.  Life is given to us because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We have hope and joy.  We have a future because He lives.  As the song says, “Because He Lives, I can face tomorrow!”  

Perhaps today we should say, “Because He Lives, I can laugh with joy!”        

 

5.)        “The pastor went to call on one of the elderly widows of the church. While visiting with her, they talked about the church and she told him that she had recently had some dental work. 

Just then the phone rang and she excused herself to answer it.  She was gone for a little and the pastor noticed a bowl of peanuts and some magazines on the coffee table. He began to eat the peanuts and read the magazines.  He lost track of time and kept eating all the peanuts. 

The woman returned and apologized because it was her sister and she had to tell her how she was doing.  The pastor told her that he was sorry for eating all of the peanuts in the jar while she was away.  

She replied, “That’s OK, Reverend. It’s no bother. Since I had this dental work I can’t chew.  I have just been sucking the chocolate off the peanuts and putting them back in that bowl.”

 

6.)        Susie had come home from Vacation Bible School where she had been studying "All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return." (Ecclesiastes 3:20)

After having a snack, her mother asked Susie to clean up her room. Susie left for her room and after a while came running back to her mother, shouting frantically that there was a huge problem in her room. Mom consoled her and asked what was wrong.

Susie responded with, "You remember what I told you we were studying at Vacation Bible School?" Her mother said, yes I do. You were learning about death, and how we leave this life and our souls return to God, while our bodies return to the earth as dust. But what has that got to do with you having a problem cleaning your room?

Susie looked her mother square in the eye and said that after she had cleaned part of her room, she had looked under her bed and was worried. Mom asked, "worried about what?" Susie responded "someone under there is either coming or going!"         (Michael Cassaday)

 

7.)        I want us to remember the reason we celebrate by listening to the song, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”   It was written by Charles Wesley in 1739.  (Choir/Praise Band will sing a verse and for the Alleluia use kazoos.  Then the second verse is with the kazoos.)    

 8.)       Here is a bulletin blooper.  "The Ladies Bible Study will be held Thursday morning at 10.  All ladies are invited to lunch in the Fellowship Hall after the B.S. is done."    

            Here are some letters received by the Department of Welfare   (Alberta Smith)

            “In accordance with your instructions I have given birth to twins in the enclosed envelope.”

            “Mrs. Jones has had no clothes for a year and had been visited regularly by the preacher.” 

 

            The Department of Social Services issued this letter.  “Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received noticed that you passed away.  May God bless you.  You may reapply if there is there is a change in your circumstances.” 

 

A SS teacher asked the children what they knew about God.   A little boy said that God was an artist.  “Really, how do you know that?” said the teacher.  “You know.  Our Father who does art in heaven.” 

 9.)     Four brothers left home for college, and they became successful doctors and lawyers and prospered. Some years later, they chatted after having dinner together. They discussed the gifts they were able to give their elderly mother who lived far away in another city. The first said, "I had a big house built for Mama."

 

The second said, "I had a $100,000 theater built in the house." 

The third said, "I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her.”

The fourth said, "You know how Mama loved reading the Bible and you know she can't read anymore because she can't see very well. I met this preacher who told me about a parrot that could recite the entire Bible. It took 20 preachers 12 years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $100,000 a year for 20 years to the church, but it was worth it. Mama just has to name the chapter and verse and the parrot will recite it." 

The other brothers were impressed. After the holidays, Mom sent out her Thank You notes. She wrote: "Milton, the house you built is so huge. I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway. 

"Michael, you gave me an expensive theater with Dolby sound. It could hold 50 people, but all my friends are dead, I've lost my hearing and I'm nearly blind. I'll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same.

"Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home. I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good. Thanks. 

"Dearest Melvin, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you. 

 

10.)      A woman arrived at the Gates of Heaven. While she was waiting for Saint Peter to greet her, she peeked through the gates.

            She saw a beautiful banquet table. Sitting all around were her parents and all the other people she had loved and who had died before her. They saw her and began calling greetings to her "Hello - How are you! We've been waiting for you! Good to see you."

When Saint Peter came by, the woman said to him, "This is such a wonderful place! How do I get in?" "You have to spell a word," Saint Peter told her.

"Which word?" the woman asked.

"Love."

The woman correctly spelled "Love" and Saint Peter welcomed her into Heaven.

About a year later, Saint Peter came to the woman and asked her to watch the Gates of Heaven for him that day.

While the woman was guarding the Gates of Heaven, her husband arrived. "I'm surprised to see you," the woman said. "How have you been?"

"Oh, I've been doing pretty well since you died," her husband told her. "I married the beautiful young nurse who took care of you while you were ill. And then I won the multi-state lottery. I sold the little house you and I lived in and bought a huge mansion. And my wife and I traveled all around the world. We were on vacation in Cancun and I went water skiing today. I fell and hit my head, and here I am. What a bummer! How do I get in?"

"You have to spell a word," the woman told him.

"Which word?" her husband asked.

"Czechoslovakia."
 

11.)      Reverend Dan was selling his horse. He placed his add in the paper and soon a buyer came calling. The buyer looked over the horse and decided the price was right for such a fine animal.

Rev. Dan explained to the gentleman that the horse only responded to biblical commands. To make the horse go the command was "Praise the Lord," the command to make the horse stop was "Hallelujah."

The man then handed Rev. Dan the money and climbed on the horse. "Praise the Lord," called the horse’s new owner. The horse responded by moving in a light trot. "Praise the Lord," said the man. The horse then picked up the pace. Amazed by this, the man then said one more time, "Praise the Lord." The horse then proceeded to run in full gallop.

The man suddenly noticed that his new steed was fast approaching a ravine. "Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah," shouted the man. The horse then responded by sliding to a stop just inches from the edge of the ravine. The man then opened his eyes and looked down over the edge. He sighed his relief with the words, "Praise the Lord!"  (Ken Grantham, Bullhead City, AZ)

 
Closing Prayer 

God of grace, God of love and laughter, we thank you that we are so wondrously created and that we are made for relationship with you and with one another. We thank you for laughter with friends and loved ones. We thank you for the laughter of children, and the song it creates in our hearts. By your great unending love, you inspire in us a spirit of imagination and creativity.

Help us to use that spirit to play more, to laugh more, and to create beauty in every way possible. Remind us to laugh out loud, for doing so will heal some of the wounds within us. Not all, but some.

God, we pray for those who cannot find their laughter today. For those who are grieving, or suffering illness of body, mind or spirit...for those who are lonely and in need of someone to share their time and friendship... for those who cannot or have not yet moved into the season and spirit of Easter and find themselves stuck in the gloom of Good Friday. May these and the troubles of all your people be soothed, blessed, and comforted by your holy presence.

May we each find the laughter within us that sets our spirits free, and in that freedom, may we take your love into every part of our lives. These and all the prayers of our hearts we offer in the name of Jesus.  Amen.  

(Posted by Sue on RevGalBlogPals.blogspot.com on March 30, 2008)