A minister, a priest, a rabbi and a duck walk into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “Is this some kind of joke?”
Yes, it is. And it comes with a question: Is humor divine?
We associate certain characteristics with God — love, compassion, empathy, forgiveness, healing, creativity, inclusion. What about humor?
Doctors tell us that laughter is good for us in many ways. It’s certainly good for our souls. Sometimes when we feel we’re falling apart, a good laugh pulls us together and heals us. A funny observation can make us take a step back and see the big picture and grin.
And maybe this gets to the heart of how we experience God. Do we prefer to turn God into a grim-faced, distant deity who revels in judgment and punishment? Or do we allow ourselves to experience the God who is so caught up in loving and creating that the only appropriate response is a deep, joyous laugh?
So, what do you think about humor? Is it an experience of God? Is a belly laugh blessed? Is a snort sacred? Is a guffaw God-like? Is laughter a form of liturgy? (Is alliteration annoying?)
One final question: Have you heard God’s favorite knock-knock joke?
Us: Who’s there?
God:I AM! Always!
Some thoughts about humor from others …
“There is hope for the future because God has a sense of humor and we are funny to God.” — Bill Cosby
“Is comedy stronger than tragedy? The (religious) imagination says tragedy doesn’t have the final word.” — the Rev. Andrew Greeley
“Genuine laughter is true eloquence and more effective than speech.” — Gandhi
“A man can laugh while he suffers.” — Elie Wiesel
“I think the scariest person in the world is the person with no sense of humor.” — Michael J. Fox
“Bruce, you have the divine spark. You have the gift for bringing joy and laughter to the world. I know — I created you.” — God to Bruce in “Bruce Almighty”
… and a chance for a few groans …
Three boys are bragging about their fathers. The first boy says, “My dad writes a poem and they give him $50 for it.” The second boy says, “That’s nothing. My dad writes a song and they give him $100 for it.” The third boy says, “I’ve got you both beat. My dad writes a sermon and it takes eight people to collect all the money.”
A dog went into a restaurant, sat down and asked for a menu. He said to the server: “What are you staring at?” The server replied, “Just surprised to see a dog in here asking for a menu. Don’t see that very often.” The dog said, “At these prices, I’m not surprised.”
I needed some time off work and decided to act crazy. I hung upside down from the ceiling and when the boss asked me what I was doing, I said, “I’m a light bulb.” “You’re going crazy,” the boss said. “Take a few days off.” As I started out the door, my co-workers got up and followed. “Where are you going?” the boss said. They replied, “We can’t work in the dark.”
Three men were discussing how they wanted to be remembered at their funerals. The first man said, “At my funeral, I hope the minister looks down at the casket and says, ‘He was a good man.'”
The second man said, “I hope the minister looks down at the casket and says, ‘He tried to love the people in his life.'”
The third man thought for a moment and said, “I hope the minister looks down at my casket and says, ‘Wait! He’s still moving!'”
The angel says to God, “Look, I know that you’re all-knowing, but for the knock-knock joke to work, you HAVE to say, ‘Who’s there?'”
The water receded and Noah told the animals to go forth and multiply. He was cleaning out the ark when he saw a couple of snakes still aboard. He said, “Didn’t I tell you to go forth and multiply?” The snakes replied, “We can’t multiply. We’re adders.”
Hope you have a good weekend — no joking!