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Bethany Evangelical
Lutheran Church

Ishpeming, Michigan † Est. 1870

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Holy Humor Sunday - Fifth Week of Easter 04/24/2016

I’m pretty much past the point of feeling like I need to defend myself for observing Holy Humor Sunday. As I’ve said in previous years, it does have a long history, mostly held on the Sunday after Easter as a way to keep the celebration going and to keep the joy of Easter alive. I think maybe we need it even more on the Fifth Sunday of Easter as a reminder of resurrection joy. I also found this little tidbit in this biography of Martin Luther that I just finished last week. It says, “To the end of his life, for all his devout intensity and single minded concentration on the issue of God, Luther could use laughter as a powerful persuasive tool and usually could laugh at himself as well.” I never really thought of Luther as a funny man, but there you are.

Anyway, here we go; lots of pearly gates jokes this year.

When Forrest Gump died, he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter said, “Welcome, Forest. I’ve heard a lot about you. Unfortunately though, it’s getting pretty crowded up here so these days we have to give people an entrance exam before we let them in.
“OK,” said Forest. “But I hope it’s not too hard.”
St. Peter said, “It’s only three questions.”

1. Which two days of the week begin with the letter T?”

Forest said, “Well that one’s easy. The two days that begin with T are today and tomorrow.
It wasn’t the answer St. Peter was looking for, but it wasn’t exactly wrong either so he said, “I’ll give you credit for that one.”

2. How many seconds are there in a year?

Forest said, “That one’s easy too. There are 12 seconds in a year” “Twelve?” said St. Peter. “Yes” said Forest, “January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd.”
Again, St. Peter had to give him credit.

3. What is God’s first name?

Forest said, “That’s another easy one. God’s first name is Andy.”
“Andy?” said St. Peter. “How did you come up with that.”
Forest said, “We used to sing it in church, “Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me…”
St Peter opened the gate to heaven and said, “Run Forest, run!”
A cattleman from West Texas died & went on to the Great Beyond. As he approached the great gate, he noticed that the terrain was bare with no greenery and he said to the gate keeper, "Howdy Saint Peter. You know, this looks just like Texas." "The gatekeeper replied, "First of all, I'm not Saint Peter and second, you really don't know where you are, do you ?"

Three people die, a Doctor a school teacher and the head of a large Health Insurance company. When they arrived at the pearly gates St. Peter asked the Doctor 'What did you do during your time on Earth?' The Doctor replied, I healed the sick and if they couldn’t pay I would treat them for free. St. Peter told the Doctor, 'that’s very commendable, you may go in.' St. Peter then asked the teacher what she did, she replied, “I spent my career teaching educationally challenged children.” St. Peter then told her 'That was very gracious of you, you too may go in.' St. Peter asked the third man, 'what did you do?' The man hung his head and replied, 'I ran a large Health Insurance company.' To which St. Peter replied, 'you can go in, but you can only stay 3 days.'

There was an old French priest down in South Louisiana Cajun country, a kind old man, loved by his parishioners. His practice was to hear confessions on Saturday afternoon and from the beginning of his time there several women confessed repeatedly that they had been unfaithful to their husbands. The old priest told the women that the words they used in the confessional offended him and suggested that they find another way. He suggested, “Say something like, I slipped. I’ll understand and I’ll give you absolution.” And so they did.

Eventually though, the old priest died and was replaced by a younger man. As he began to hear confessions he was surprised by all the talk about slipping and wondered why the women were talking about it in the confessional. Slipping didn’t sound like a sin. He decided to do some investigating to find out what was causing all the slipping and when he arrived at the wash house in town he thought he had it figured out. The entrance sloped downward and with wet laundry and soapy water everywhere the women who went there could indeed slip. He went to see the mayor of the town to offer his thoughts. The mayor though knew the real story. He smiled and said to the priest, “Don’t worry about it, Father, it’s not a serious problem.” “Not serious,” the priest replied. How can you say that when just last week your own wife told me she slipped three times.” The mayor stopped smiling.

An 85 year old couple, having been married almost 60 years, died in a car crash. They had been in good health the last ten years mainly due to the woman’s interest in health food, and exercise.
When they reached the pearly gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite and Jacuzzi.
As they "oohed and aahed" the old man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost.
"It's free," Peter replied, "this is Heaven."
Next they went out back to survey the championship golf course that the home backed up to. They would have golfing privileges everyday and each week the course changed to a new one representing the greatest golf courses on earth.
The old man asked, "what are the green fees?".
Peter's reply, "This is heaven, you play for free."
Next they went to the club house and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisines of the world laid out.
"How much does it cost to eat?" asked the old man.
"Don't you understand yet? This is heaven, it is free!" Peter replied with some exasperation.
"Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol tables?" the old man asked timidly.
Peter lectured, "That's the best part...you can eat as much as you like of whatever you like and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven."
With that the old man went into a fit of anger, throwing down his hat and stomping on it, and shrieking wildly.

Peter and his wife both tried to calm him down, asking him what was wrong. The old man looked at his wife and said, "This is all your fault. If it weren't for your blasted bran muffins, vegetables and long walks in the morning, I could have been here ten years ago!"
St. Peter and Satan were having an argument one day about baseball. Satan proposed a game to be played on neutral grounds between a select team from the heavenly host and his own hand-picked hellians. "Very well," said the gatekeeper of Heaven. "But you realize, I hope, that we've got all the good players and the best coaches." "I know, and that's all right," Satan answered unperturbed. "We've got all the umpires."
A large group of people had died and were waiting to enter Heaven when God appeared and said, 'I want the men to make two lines. One line for the men who were true heads of their household, and the other line for the men who were dominated by their wives. I want all the women to report to St. Peter.'
Soon, the women were gone to St. Peter, and there were two lines of men. The line of the men who were dominated by their wives was 100 miles long, but in the line for those who truly were heads of their household, there was only one man.
God said to the long line, 'You men should be ashamed of yourselves; I created you to be the head of your household! You have been disobedient and have not fulfilled your purpose! Of all of you, only one obeyed. Learn from him.'
God turned to the one man, 'How did you manage to be the only one in this line?'
The man replied, 'My wife told me to stand here.' ”

LENA PASSED away and Ole called 911. The 911 operator told Ole that she would send someone out right away.
"Where do you live?" asked the operator.
Ole answered, "At the end of Eucalyptus Drive."
"Can you spell that for me?" the operator asked.
There was a long pause and finally Ole said, "How about if I drag her over to Oak Street and you pick her up there?"
When Ole quit farming and moved to town he discovered that he was the only Lutheran in his new little town of all Catholics. That was okay, but the neighbors had a problem with him barbecuing beef every Friday. Since they couldn't eat meat on Friday, the tempting aroma was getting the best of them. Hoping they could do something to stop this, the neighbors got together and went over to talk to Ole. "Ole," they said, "since you are the only Lutheran in this whole town and there's not a Lutheran church for many miles, we think you should join our church and become a Catholic."
Ole thought about it for a minute and decided they were probably right.
Ole talked to the priest, and following some weeks of instruction the big day finally arrived.
The priest had Ole kneel. He put his hand on Ole's head and said, "Ole, you were born a Lutheran, you were raised a Lutheran, and now," he said as he sprinkled some incense over Ole's head, "now you are a Catholic!"
Ole was happy and the neighbors were happy. But the following Friday evening at suppertime, the same thing happened. There was still the aroma of grilled beef coming from Ole's yard. The neighbors again decided they should talk to him about this and as they approached the fence, they heard Ole saying to the steak: "You were born a beef, you were raised a beef," and as he sprinkled salt over the meat he said, "and now you are a fish!"

An Irishman goes into the confessional box after years of being away from the Church. He is amazed to find a fully equipped bar including Guinness on tap. On the other wall there was a tempting array of the finest cigars in the world along with an elegant assortment of chocalates.
When the priest comes in, the Irishman excitedly begins, 'Father, forgive me, for it's been a very long time since I've been to confession, but before I start I have to say that the confessional box is much more inviting than it used to be.'
The priest replies, 'Get out. You're on my side.' ”

A man was sitting in a doctor's office, waiting to go into the exam room when all of a sudden a nun clad in the traditional habit bursts out of the exam room, visibly upset, crying, and inconsolable. She ran out of the doctor's office loudly bawling, much to the dismay of the man sitting in the waiting room.
The man was the next one called into the exam room but before he was examined, he insisted that the Doctor tell him about the nun and why she was so upset. The doctor explained that he had told the nun that she was pregnant.
"What!" the man exclaimed. "A pregnant NUN!"
"NO! She's not pregnant!" The Doctor said. "But it sure got rid of her hiccups!"

A fleeing Taliban terrorist, desperate for water, was plodding through the Afghan desert when he saw something far off in the distance. Hoping to find water, he hurried toward the mirage only to find an old frail little Jewish man standing at makeshift display rack selling ties.
The terrorist asked, “Do you have any water?”
The old man said, “ I have no water, but would you like to buy a tie? They’re only $5.”
The terrorist began to shout, “You infidel, I do not need such an overpriced western adornment. I spit on your ties. I need water!”
Again the old man says, “I’m sorry. I don’t have any but these are really nice ties, pure silk and only $5.”
“A curse on you and a curse on your ties. I should wrap one around your neck and choke the life out of you but I need to conserve my energy and find water.”
“OK,” said the little Jewish man. “But even though you insult me and my ties I’m going to show you that I’m a better person than you. If you walk over that hill to the east for about two miles, you’ll find a restaurant. It has excellent food and all the cold water you want. Go in peace.”
The desperate terrorist wasn’t sure what to think but he staggered away, over the hill.
Several hours later though, he came crawling back, weak and exhausted, almost dead. “They won’t let me in without a tie.”

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it would be a long trip to where God lived so he packed his suitcase carefully including a box of Twinkies and a six pack of Root Beer because he knew he’d need some food. He started walking and as he was walking through a park near his house he saw an old man, sitting on a park bench feeding the pigeons. He was kind of scruffy looking and the boy stared and him and thought it was about the oldest man he’d ever seen. He sat down on the bench beside the man, opened his suitcase and because he was thirsty he took out one of his root beers. He took a sip and then looked at the old man and thought he looked hungry so he offered him one of his Twinkies. The man accepted it and smiled and the boy thought it was about the most beautiful smile he had ever seen. It was so beautiful that he wanted to see it again, so he offered the man a root beer to go along with his Twinkie and again the man took it and smiled.
They sat there for quite a long time, eating and smiling, drinking root beer, not saying a word. As it got later in the afternoon, the boy decided he should probably go home, so he closed his suitcase, got up and started walking. The old man got up too and as he did the boy looked back and then went back and gave the old man a hug before he headed home; the old man gave him another big smile.
When the boy got home his mother could see that he seemed to be in a really good mood so she asked him what he’d been doing all afternoon that made him so happy. He said, “I had lunch with God,” and before she could respond he said, “And you know what? God’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen.”
Meanwhile, across town, the old man had also returned to his home or actually to his son’s home because that’s where he lived. He too seemed very happy when he arrived and his son asked him what he’d been up to all afternoon. He said, “I’ve been eating Twinkies in the park with God,” and before his son could respond he said, “And you know what? He’s much younger than I would have thought.”

You never know when you might run into God, but when you do, I’ll bet he has a nice smile, and I’ll bet he’s happy when you smile back.

Pastor 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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one such child in my name
welcomes me, and whoever
welcomes me welcomes
not me
but the
one who
sent me.”


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