My word, people. We've been carrying on here in such seriousness for so long that some of you have forgotten how to laugh at life, including religion.
New readers should know what long-time readers already know, which is that these jokes aren't original with me. If they were, they'd be funnier. I get them from several sources, including readers and beliefnet.com.
So here goes:
1. A child was watching his mother sift through and delete a long list of junk E-mail on the computer screen.
"This reminds me of the Lord's Prayer," the kid said.
"What do you mean?" the mother asked.
"You know. That part about 'deliver us from E-mail.'"
2. An elderly woman died. Having never married, she requested no male pallbearers. In her handwritten instructions she wrote, "They wouldn't take me out while I was alive, so I don't want them to take me out when I'm dead."
3. After the service a young couple talked to a church member about joining the church. He hadn't met the husband before, and he asked what church he was transferring from.
After a short hesitation, he replied, "I am transferring from the Municipal Golf Course."
4. A minister in Florida lamented that it was difficult to get his message across to his congregation. "It's so beautiful here in the winter," he said, "that heaven doesn't interest them. And it's so hot here in the summer that hell doesn't scare them."
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THE PRESIDENT AT PRAYER
I missed this interview with Barack and Michelle Obama the other day. In it, the president said he prays and reads the Bible each day and that his prayer life has been important to him. For you people who against all the evidence still think Obama is a Muslim, notice that he doesn't say he prays five times a day. And it's the Bible he's reading, not the Qur'an (though it wouldn't hurt for Christians to read the Qur'an, too, but in company of someone qualified to interpret it well).
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P.S.: This past Friday here on the blog, I mentioned that 2011 will mark the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible. Religion scholar Martin E. Marty has some thoughts about that subject in the latest of his "Sightings" columns.
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ANOTHER P.S.: My latest Presbyterian Outlook column, "Prophetic preaching ain't beanbag," now is online. To read it, click here.
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ALSO: For your holiday giving, may I be so bold as to recommend three books:
* They Were Just People: Stories of Rescue in Poland During the Holocaust, by me and Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn. (All royalties go to Holocaust-related charities.)
*Elmwood Cemetery: Stories of Kansas City, by nearly two dozen authors, including me. This beautiful book reveals lots of KC history by telling stories of people buried in Elmwood Cemetery.
* A Gift of Meaning, by me. This is a collection of Kansas City Star columns in which I look at the world through my theological lenses.