31 Maple Street
Bristol, Connecticut USA
April 8, 2018
Rev. Kristen J. Kleiman
Throughout Lent and Holy Week, I shared a lot about fear, anxiety, and the reptilian brain. Even if you did not hear any of those messages, you know how anxiety and fear-filled our world and our lives are.
We have lots of good reasons to be anxious and afraid, and at the same time, we cannot think when we are afraid. And we cannot create healthy solutions to life’s problems when we are afraid.
So how do we get to the place where we can respond with intelligence, creativity, and thoughtfulness to life and the world? We laugh!
Yes, laughter is a remedy for reptilian, fight or flight, survival of the fittest brain. Laughing calms us and moves our energy into the parts of the brain best suited to help us respond well to problems and crises.
And laughing is also faithful and faith-filled.
“Martin Luther [one of the Protestant Reformers] wrote: ‘God is not a God of sadness, but the devil is. Christ is a God of joy. It is pleasing to the dear God whenever thou rejoicest or laughest from the bottom of thy heart.’ And John Wesley [the founder of the Methodist Church] said: ‘Sour godliness is the devil’s religion.’” (Holy Humor, 66)
So in the spirit of Christ’s resurrection, in the spirit of believing in Jesus that we may have life in his name, in the spirit of countering the devil’s tools of fear and anxiety, I invite you into a time of Holy Humor, a time of Christian silliness that we might smile, laugh, and share in God’s joy.
A man survives a shipwreck and finds his way to a small deserted island. He is able to survive there for more than three years until he is finally discovered. His rescuers are amazed at not only how well he survived but also at the small structures he was able to construct.
“What are those three little buildings?” they asked him.
“The one in the middle is my house,” he replied, “and the one to the west is my church. The one to the east is the church I used to go to.”
“Your Holiness,” a cardinal gasped as he ran into the pope’s office, “Jesus just rode into the Vatican on a donkey. What do we do?”
The pope looked up from his work and replied, “Look busy.”
A mortal said to God, “What is a million years like to you?”
God answered, “Like one second.”
The mortal asked, “What is a million dollars like to you?”
“Like one penny,” God said.
“Can I have a penny?” asked the mortal.
“Just a second,” God replied.
Finding himself lost in the mountains on a cold Friday night, a man prays for the Lord’s guidance and is led to a monastery. He is welcomed in, just in time for dinner. He is served a wonderful meal of fish and chips – the finest he has ever had, in fact. He asks if he may meet the cooks so he can thank them for the food.
When he tells them how much he enjoyed the meal, they thank him and introduce themselves.
“You’re most welcome, friend. I am Brother Vincent, the fish friar, and this is Brother Paul, the chip monk.”
Much thanks to Ellen Carrier and her Rolling in the Church Aisles book