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Bethany Evangelical
Lutheran Church

Ishpeming, Michigan † Est. 1870

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Easter - Holy Humor 05/18/2014

Lutheran guilt always makes me feel like I have to defend myself for telling jokes today rather than doing a sermon, but as I’ve said before, there is some history behind Holy Humor Sunday or it’s sometimes called Bright Sunday or Laughter Sunday. Way back in the 1400’s churches in Bavaria would celebrate the Sunday after Easter as Risus Paschalis which could be translated as the Easter Laugh. Priests would tell amusing stories and jokes trying to get people to laugh, a way to celebrate the supreme joke God played on Satan by raising Jesus from the dead. However, in the 1600’s Pope Clement X outlawed Risus Paschalis. Maybe that’s why I feel a little naughty when I do this.

On the other hand, laughter and humor are gifts of God, gifts we should be thankful for. I have to think that humor and laughter are dimensions of the kingdom that Jesus proclaimed. So…with that in mind…

A man sobering up from Saturday night went to church the next day but while sitting through the Sunday sermon, which he found long and boring, he nodded off to sleep.

The priest noticed the man’s condition and was disgusted, even more so when he fell asleep so he decided to make an example of him at the end of his sermon.

He said to the congregation, "All those wishing to have a place in heaven, please stand."

The whole room stood up except, of course, the sleeping man.

Then the preacher said even more loudly, "And he who would like to find a place in hell please STAND UP!"

The weary man catching only the last part groggily stood up, only to find that he was the only one standing.

Confused and embarrassed he said, "I don't know what we're voting on here, Father, but it sure seems like you and me are the only ones standing for it!"

A priest, a minister and a rabbi walked into a bar. The bartender looked at them and said, “Is this some kind of joke?”

Top Ten Reasons Eve Was Created

10. God was worried that Adam would frequently become lost in the garden because he would not ask for directions.

9. God knew that one day Adam would require someone to locate and hand him the remote.

8. God knew Adam would never go out and buy himself a new fig leaf when his wore out and would therefore need Eve to buy one for him.

7. God knew Adam would never be able to make a doctor's, dentist, or haircut appointment for himself.

6. God knew Adam would never remember which night to put the garbage on the curb.

5. God knew if the world was to be populated, men would never be able to handle the pain and discomfort of childbearing.

4. As the Keeper of the Garden, Adam would never remember where he left his tools.

3. Apparently, Adam needed someone to blame his troubles on when God caught him hiding in the garden.

2. As the Bible says, It is not good for man to be alone!

And the #1 reason why God created Eve...

1. When God finished the creation of Adam, He stepped back, scratched his head, and said, "I can do better than that!"

In the interest of being fair and balanced…

God looks down and notices that Adam is all alone while all the animals have companions, so he decides to create a companion for man as well. He comes to see Adam and says to him, "Adam, you are my greatest creation and therefore, I am going to create for you the ultimate companion. She will worship the very ground you walk on, she will long for you and no other, she will be highly intelligent, she will wait on you hand and foot and obey your every command, she will be beautiful, and all it will cost you is an arm and a leg." Thinking for a few moments, Adam replies, "What could I get for a rib?"

An elderly lady was well-known for her faith and for her boldness in talking about it. She would stand on her front porch and shout "PRAISE THE LORD!"

Next door to her lived an atheist who would get so angry at her proclamations he would shout, "There ain't no Lord!!"

Hard times set in on the elderly lady, and she prayed for GOD to send her some assistance. She stood on her porch and shouted "PRAISE THE LORD. GOD I NEED FOOD!! I AM HAVING A HARD TIME. PLEASE LORD, SEND ME SOME GROCERIES!!"

The next morning the lady went out on her porch and noted a large bag of groceries and shouted, "PRAISE THE LORD."

Her atheist neighbor jumped from behind a bush and said, "Aha! I told you there was no Lord. I bought those groceries, God didn't."

The lady started jumping up and down and clapping her hands and said, "PRAISE THE LORD. He not only sent me groceries, but He made the devil pay for them. Praise the Lord!"

A priest and a nun were on their way back home from a trip when their car broke down. They were unable to get it fixed, so they decide to spend the night in a hotel. The only hotel in the town had only one room available.

So the priest said, Sister, I don't think the Lord would have a problem, under the circumstances, if we spent the night together in this one room. I'll sleep on the couch and you have the bed.

The nun agreed.

They prepared for bed and each one took their agreed place in the room. Ten minutes later... the nun says Father, I'm terribly cold.

The priest says, Okay, I'll get you a blanket, and he did.

Ten minutes later...

Father, I'm still terribly cold.

Okay Sister, I'll get you another blanket. (and he did)

Ten minutes later...

Father, she said, I'm still terribly cold, and then she added, I don't think the Lord would mind if we acted as man and wife just for this one night.

The priest says, You're probably right...get up and get your own blanket.

The Baptist preacher just finished his sermon for the day and proceeded toward the back of the church for his usual greetings and handshaking as the congregation left the church. After shaking a few adult hands he came upon the seven year old son of one of the Deacons of the church.

"Good morning, Jonathan," the preacher said as he reached out to shake Jonathan's hand.

As he was doing so he felt something in the palm of Jonathan's hand. "What's this?" the preacher asked.

"Money," said Jonathan with a big smile on his face, "It's for you!"

"I don't want to take your money, Jonathan," the preacher answered.

"I want you to have it," said Jonathan. After a short pause Jonathan continued, "My daddy says you're the poorest preacher we’ve ever had and I want to help you."

The Reverend Billy Graham tells of a time early in his ministry when he arrived in a small town to preach a sermon. Wanting to mail a letter, he asked a young boy where the post office was. When the boy had told him, Dr. Graham thanked him and said, "If you come to the Church this evening, you can hear me telling everyone how to get to Heaven."

"I don't think I'll be there," the boy said. "You don't even know your way to the post office."

A priest, a minister and a rabbi walked into a bar. The bartender looked at them and said, “Is this some kind of joke?”

The preacher’s five year old daughter noticed that her father always paused and bowed his head for a moment before starting his sermon so one day, she asked him why. “Well Honey,” he began, proud that his daughter was so observant, “I’m asking the Lord to help me preach a good sermon.” She asked, “How come he never answers.?

There’s lots of Little Johnny jokes, most of which I can’t tell in church, but…

Little Johnny and his family were having Sunday dinner at his grandmother’s house. Everyone was seated around the table as the food was being served. When Little Johnny received his plate, he started eating right away.

“Johnny! Please wait until we say the prayer,” said his mother. “I don’t need to,” Johnny replied. “Of course you do” his mother insisted. “We always say a prayer before eating at our house.”

“That’s at our house,” Johnny explained. “But this is Grandma’s house and she knows how to cook.”

A gambler was at the track playing the horses and losing his shirt like he usually did. But before the fourth race he noticed a priest who stepped out on the track and blessed the forehead of one of the horses. The horse was a long shot but lo and behold, it won the race. The priest did the same thing to another horse prior to the next race and again, despite being another long shot, it won. The priest did the same thing before the next race and this time the gambler ran to the betting window and placed a small wager on the horse and again, the horse won the race. The guy collected his winnings and kept watching to see which horse the priest would bless. As the races went on he placed larger and larger bets on the horses the priest blessed and while none of them were favored, they all kept winning.

When it was time for the last race he decided to take all his winnings and place them on whichever horse the priest blessed. He watched as the priest blessed the forehead of an old nag that was the longest shot of the day. The priest blessed the eyes, ears and hooves of the horse and the gambler put all his money on it. The horse came in last. He’d lost everything. So he went down to the track to find the priest and said, “Father, what happened? All day long you blessed horses and they all won but in the last race the horse you blessed lost by a mile. Thanks to you I’ve lost everything.”

The priest shook his head sadly and said, That’s the trouble with you protestants; you can’t tell the difference between a simple blessing and the last rites.

A kindergarten teacher gave her class a “show and tell” assignment. Each student was instructed to bring in an object that represented their religion to share with the class.

The first student got up in front of the class and said, “My name is Benjamin; I’m Jewish and this is a star of David.

The next student got up and said, “My name is Mary. I’m Catholic and this is a Rosary.

The third student got up as said, “My name is Johnny. I’m a Lutheran and this is a coffee cake.”

Little Joey was asked by his mother what he had learned in Sunday School. Well Mom, he said, our teacher told us how God sent Moses behind enemy lines on a rescue mission to the lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. When he got to the Red Sea, he had his army build a pontoon bridge and all the people walked across safely. Then he radioed headquarters for reinforcements. They sent bombers to blow up the bridge and all the Israelites were saved.

Now Joey, his mother asked, is that really what your teacher taught you?

Well, no Mom, he said, but if I told it the way the teacher did you’d never believe it.

Do you know what Mahatma Gandhi and Mary Poppins have in common?

Gandhi walked everywhere he went which produced large callouses on his feet. He ate very little so he was a very fragile man. His odd diet also caused him to have bad breath. So you could say he was a “super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.”

A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy city boulevard. As they approached a traffic light it turned yellow and the man did the right thing and stopped before the crosswalk even though he could have accelerated a little bit and gotten through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious, she honked her horn and screamed and gave him the finger. Still in mid-rant she heard a tap on her window and looked into the face of a very serious looking police officer who ordered her to get out of the car with her hands up.

He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed and placed in a holding cell. A couple of hours later another policeman opened the cell door and took her back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, You can go and I’m sorry for your inconvenience, but you see, when I pulled up behind you and you were cursing and blowing your horn and flipping off the guy in front of you I noticed the What Would Jesus Do? Bumper sticker, the choose life license plate holder, another bumper sticker saying Jesus Loves You and a chrome plated Jesus fish on the trunk, and I couldn’t help but think you must have stolen the car.

A man suffered a serious heart attack while shopping in a store. The clerk saw him collapse and called 911. The paramedics rushed the man to the nearest hospital where he had emergency open heart surgery.

It was a Catholic hospital and when he woke up he found himself in the care of several nuns. One of them sat down beside him to inquire about how he would pay for his treatment.

Do you have insurance? She asked. He shook his head NO. Do you have money in the bank? He replied, not very much. Do you have any relatives that could help you pay?

He said, All I’ve got is an old maid sister who is also a nun.

The nun became a little annoyed and said, Sir, nuns are not old maids as you say. Nuns are married to the Lord.

In that case, the man said, Send the bill to my brother in law.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go went a camping trip. After a good dinner and a bottle of wine, they retired for the night, and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes woke up and nudged his faithful friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

"I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes" replied Watson.

"And what do you deduce from that?"

Watson pondered for a minute.

"Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe. What does it tell you, Holmes?"

"Watson,” he said, You’re an idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!"

Rev. Warren Geier


Bethany Lutheran Church
715 Mather Avenue
Ishpeming, MI 49849

Phone: 906-486-4351
Fax: 906-486-9640

Rev. Warren Geier, Pastor

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