Dear Friends,

This is a serious season.  Lent is a time to get serious.  We can be too casual with our faith.  Our relationship with Jesus can easily slide to the bottom of our long list of priorities in life.  We’ve been hammering that theme lately, as we do most every Lent.   However, we can also get too serious.  We’ll be looking at the Pharisees in worship a week from Sunday.  They took their faith very seriously.  And they were very unpleasant people to be around.

There is a place for laughter in our lives as Christians.   An important place.  In fact, if laughter is not present and plentiful in your life, that may be the area you most need to work on as you grow closer to Christ.  I love what Steve Brown has written about this:

If there is no laughter, Jesus has gone somewhere else.  If there is no joy and freedom, it is not a church; it is simply a crowd of melancholy people basking in a religious neurosis.  If there is no celebration, there is no real worship.

We laughed a lot last Saturday at the “family fun event”.  It was “fun”, just as advertised.  And then we laughed a lot in worship yesterday.  Even on a communion Sunday.  Laughter is a good sign.  It is a good barometer of health, for Christians and for a church.

So, how about ending this morning’s edition of Monday Musings with a joke?  I have a thick file of my favorite jokes that I have been accumulating for nearly 40 years.  Hopefully this is one you haven’t heard, or if you have, it was so long ago you don’t remember:

There was a very traditional, very serious young man who was marrying a much more easy-going young woman.  In their pre-marital sessions with the pastor, one of their disagreements was over which marriage service they would use.  The groom wanted the traditional service.  The bride wanted the contemporary service.  The bride got her way.  On the day of the wedding, the groom noticed that some of his cattle had gotten out of their pen.  This couldn’t wait, so he stopped and got the cattle back where they belonged.  He was very careful to roll up the bottom of his rented pant legs so they wouldn’t drag in the manure. Then he was in such a hurry to get to the church on time, he forgot to roll them back down.  As his bride joined him at the altar, she whispered to him insistently, “Pants down.”  He gave the pastor a befuddled look.  The pastor whispered even more insistently, “Pants down!”  The groom shrugged his shoulders and said, “I knew we shouldn’t have used the contemporary service.”

See you in church Sunday, contemporary or traditional!

In Christ,