11th June 2015

Take The Medicine 

‘…a time to laugh…’
Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NIV) 

When you read a newspaper or look at the evening news there seems to be so much that is depressing. There always seem to be stories of wars, terrorism, murders, financial misdemeanours and inappropriate behaviour by those in the public eye. The list could go on and on…There seems to be little that we can laugh at.

Peter Ustinov once said, “The sound of laughter has always seemed to me the most civilised music in the universe.” The writer of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for everything (3:1) including laughter. So here are a few things that I’ve come across and have given me a wry smile and even a little chuckle recently:

Church notice misprints: ”There will be a parish sin along on Sunday at 7.30pm.’
‘There will be a meeting of Deacons next Sunday morning. It will be gin with breakfast at 7.30am.’
‘The sermon on 5th will be given by the Neverend Peter Jones.’

A doubtful compliment: To a minister who was moving to a new parish, an elderly lady suggested that his successor would not be as good as he had been. ‘Nonsense,’ he replied, flattered. ‘No really,’ insisted the lady. ‘I’ve lived here under five different ministers and each one has been worse than the last.’

Holy wit: A local Roman Catholic priest took part in a carol service with ministers of different denominations. When he got into his car after the service it wouldn’t start. Passers-by were treated to the sight of a Catholic priest, an Anglican clergyman and a Methodist minister pushing an old car, when one of them was heard to say, ‘This is what I call an ecumenical movement.’
A discussion took place between a priest, a protestant minister and a rabbi concerning when life begins. The priest said, ‘it begins at conception’; the protestant minister said, ‘no it begins at birth.’ ‘Look’, said the Rabbi, ‘You’ve both got it wrong. Life begins when the kids leave home.’

Church magazine entries: ‘Vicar is on holiday until the 27th. Clergy from the neighbouring parish will be celebrating while he is away.’
‘Because of problems experienced in the cemetery, people are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.’
‘If you think any of the children are being rude in church then you ought to see the Pastor.’
‘There will be a seminar on the 2nd Coming of Jesus, which will take place on the 24th of next month – Don’t miss it.’

As G.K. Chesterton once said, “It is the test of good religion whether you can make a joke of it.” And as the writer of Proverbs says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine…”  (Proverbs 17:22).

Let’s keep taking the medicine.

Father, thank you for giving us a sense of humour. May we never lose the ability to be able to laugh.

Study by Barry Robinson


barryrobinsonAbout the Author:
Barry Robinson is an Elder in and pastoral worker in the Greater London area, particularly the Camberwell and North London congregations of the Worldwide Church of God UK.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Camberwell
The Salvation Army Hall
105 Lomond Grove

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11 am

Local Congregational Contact:
Barry Robinson
Email:  barry_robinson@wcg.org.uk

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