Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

Jesus walks down to the lake after the disciples and 15 others lunch on a hot dog and a bag of sour cream and chives chips. Jesus reaches the shore and sees Judas sitting with his feet in the water. The other disciples are dunking and splashing each other. Jesus sits a little further up the bank and watches until John notices him.

John: Hey, Jesus!

Judas turns around and everyone stops and looks at Jesus.

Jesus (pointing at Peter) : For Pete’s sake, guys. You aren’t supposed to swim within 30 minutes after lunch.

Judas: Told you so.

Peter: (raises an eyebrow at Judas, smiles at Jesus): We’re practicing baptizing.

Jesus: Hmm. So how does it work?

Peter: Well, you get your hands wet and then make the sign of a cross on their foreheads.

A few near Peter nod.

John: No, you lean ’em back and then dunk ’em totally under water.

Andrew and a few others near John nod.

Judas: Doesn’t matter as long as you get water on ’em.

Everyone looks at him quizzically.

Jesus: What’d’ya think baptism means?

John: Like you told Nicodemus — it’s a new birth — a water birth. The old person goes into the water and a new one comes out. I guess it’s symbolic.

Peter: No, it’s not just symbolic. Baptism imparts real grace to people. You almost glowed when you were baptized. It’s God’s way of giving grace, which opens the way to eternal peace and redemption…I think.

Simon the Zealot: If you don’t get baptized, you can’t join a church can you?

Judas: It doesn’t really mean anything. At best it’s symbolic. It’s just plain water, isn’t it?

Everyone rolls their eyes. Peter splashes Judas.

Jesus: Hmm. You guys are all over the place on this. Andrew, what did the Baptizer tell you?

Andrew: Baptism was supposed to signify repentance and turning from sin.

Jesus: That’s good.

John: Yeah, the Baptizer said it signified turning from sin. After all, he baptized you, what’d it do for you?

Jesus (smiling): It pleased the Father. It was a special moment between the Father and me.

Judas: See, it doesn’t mean anything.

Everyone looks askance at Judas.

Jesus: Sorta right, Moneybags. What if I told you baptism means what you think it means? What if what you believe is what you get? Frankly, guys, it you believe it means nothing, your baptism means nothing. If you believe it’s part of the saving grace of the Father, it is. If you see nothing miraculous about it, nothing is. If you believe you’ve received a miracle, you have. Personally, I like baptisms.

John: So, what does it really mean?

Jesus (wading out): It means, if you like me, do it. Who wants to practice on me?

Tr8: Be baptized in faith, believing. Believe big in case it’s bigger than you think. God exceeds whatever we think.

“He’s eating grasshoppers.”

“What?”

“He’s eating grasshoppers. The other kids saw it and reported it to the lunchroom lady.”

“Well, Johnny has always been difficult and unusual. He’s not like the others. He’s been a difficult, determined child…”

“Has he been tested? At times he seems almost autistic. I’d have him checked. We can recommend someone.”

“No, he’s not autistic. Maybe a bit ADHD or OCD.”

“It’s not just the grasshoppers. He stands by the drinking fountain and shouts at the rest the kids to ‘repent’ and then he splashes water on them.”

“Well, his father, Zach, and I…as you can see, we’re not young…we try…. Zach retired from the Temple when Johnny finished kindergarten. It hasn’t been easy…he’s talked with counselors at The Temple Clinic. They say he has guilt issues. They’ve never seen anyone so obsessed with confessing mistakes. But really, it’s only a little splashing, right?”

“And then there are the dippings.”

“The dippings?”

“Yes. Whenever one of his little friends say they are sorry for whatever, he dips them in the fountain. When the older students walk by and make fun of him, he yells at them. Things like, “Judgment is approaching! Hypocrites! Repent and be baptized!”

“Hmm. I was wondering why his camel shirt was always so wet after school.”

“Yes, and the camel shirt. What’s with the camel shirt? All the other nice children wear clean linen shirts and broadcloth trousers. John looks hideous! I’ve a mind to call Children’s Services!”

“We’ve tried with the clothes. There must be ten linen shirts in his closet. But every day. Camel shirt.”

“Well, Elizabeth, I know this is difficult, but John has been given three days of ISS for cutting up in the lunchroom — making noise and splashing children. If things continue to spiral out of hand, John will be dismissed.”

“I understand. You know, he’s really a good boy. He’s just misunderstood. He never hurts anyone and you should see the way he plays with my cousin Mary’s boy. They talk about changing the world! They are inseparable. Zach and I try our best to influence Johnny to love and serve God and others, but we can’t control his choices at school. Do you think ISS is going to help him?”

“Well, we’ll see. This must stop. The kids are starting to call him ‘the baptizer’ and he makes the faculty nervous.”

Tr8: Influence. We influence our children, but we do not choose for them (except as infants). They grow into free agents (baptizers, saviors, doctors, bakers, etc.) quickly and start choice-making within a year of birth. While we cannot choose for them, we can present them good choices. As time goes on, prepared choices become fewer and fewer. Choosing for them can also be dangerous — adults don’t survive on their parent’s faith. Sadly, some children become bad decision-makers. We survive by trusting God and our children.

Orchestrate choices while you can. Children need practice in making wise decisions. Perhaps the best way is to embrace choosing as a life skill. If I could do it over again, I’d have done this more. I’d treat making choices like brushing teeth. It isn’t a tacit act, it’s purposeful. Decisions 101: 1) What will happen next? 2) Will this hurt me or someone else? 3) What if everyone does this? 4) Would Jesus do this? and 5) What is the story I want to tell others with this decision?

Review the steps to making a good decision often. The more directed practice a child gets before adolescence, the better. Practice praying for wise decisions. Celebrate wise decisions and reboot after bad ones.

Jesus is sitting with the disciples in Waffle House early one morning. Everyone is tired, but James and John just had to have waffles. So, they all went, packed into two cars. Murphy, the “13th” disciple came on his motorcycle.

Peter: Jesus, it’s late, but I need to tell you I did something I’m not proud of.

Jesus: I know, you ran a red light on the way here.

Peter: Well, that wasn’t what I was thinking about.

Jesus: You also had mean thoughts about Murphy.

Peter: Ouch! Sorry, Murph. You’re just so unlucky. But, that’s not it either.

Jesus: So, are we gonna sit here and play ‘guess my sin?’

Peter: No. I was the one who passed gas in the car, but didn’t claim it. I think everyone thought Bartholomew did it.

Bartholomew: See! I told you it wasn’t me.

Jesus: Guys, it should not surprise you at this point that I know all your sins. Right?

John (pouring blueberry syrup on his waffles): Yea. You know everything. Even about Peter. Glad I was in the other car.

Jesus: I even know what you are GOING to do wrong. For instance, Judas is going to undertip the waiter.

Judas: Uh-uh. I’m planning on tipping 20%.

Jesus (rolls his eyes): Truth is, I’ve already forgiven the sins you are going to commit.

Judas (surprised): Does that include me?

Jesus (gazing into Judas’ eyes): We’ll see. Those who love me will be loved.

Thomas: So you know that I’m…

Jesus (as Thomas empties the salt shaker): …going to dump out the salt shaker? Yeah. That was mean. Judas, tip 25%.

Murphy: So, when we pray for forgiveness, we’re only agreeing with what you already know.

Jesus (eyebrows raised): Yeah, Murph. That’s right. Well played.

Peter: I knew that. So, you’ve already forgiven us for what we haven’t, already, done yet.

Jesus: Yep. You guys are mine. In me, the price is paid in full. As long as you come back to me. You’ll be fine.

John (thoughtfully): As long as we come back to you. Cool. Are you going to eat the rest of your bacon?

Jesus: This is turkey bacon, and yes, I’m going to eat it and the rest of Nathaniel’s.

John (grabbing Jame’s last piece of bacon): That works for me.

Tr8: In Christ, the deal is done as long as you keep coming back to him.

Jesus and his disciples are on Peter’s front porch after dinner. Bumper, Jesus’ dog is sitting licking Jesus’ feet. Andrew is scratching the dog’s ears. The rest of the disciples are lounging around and Judas is annoying everyone with his cigar.

Matthew: Lord, which of us follows you best?

Jesus: Bumper.

Matthew: What? He’s just a mutt.

Jesus: You should love me like Bumper loves me.

Nathaniel: Dogs are unclean.

Jesus: Yep. They’re pitiful. Bumper thinks cat pooh is wonderful. Absolutely hopeless. To love him I have to overlook his nature. However, he’s happy with anything I give him. He’ll even try turnips if they’re from me.

Andrew (quits scratching Bumper and looks at his fingers): So, he’s unclean and that’s okay?

Jesus: It’s the tension again — the truth is brutal and grace is kind. Bumper is a mess and I love him. He follows me everywhere and is happy with everything but my absence. He’ll walk beside me all day just to have the chance to lick my (unclean) feet. I say, ‘Bumper come,’ he comes, ‘Bumper go,’ he goes. I say, ‘Bumper stay,’ and he’ll sit waiting for me indefinitely.

Peter (he raises his hand and Jesus nods): So, when you asked us to ‘follow,’ you were thinking about dogs?

Jesus: Well, sort of. Remember when I told you the ‘come as a child’ thing? It’s like that. Bumper is pure dog. He lives for me. His happiness is me. Remember the scribe who was arguing with me and grabbed my robe at the bus stop past Nazareth, near Sephora, where my Aunt Anne lives? Bumper was on…hackles up, growling and all that. Bumper processes HIS life through MY perspective.

John: Woohoo! So, you DO want us as bodyguards! I knew it!

Jesus (holding up his hand): Uhm, no. If you’ll remember, I told Bumper to sit and shake hands with the scribe, which he did, though the scribe declined.

They all laugh.

Judas (blowing smoke rings): Bumper is a good dog. He sleeps at your feet, eats anything, obeys, is house broken and even herds sheep. We could rent him to shepherds.

Jesus: Yeah, Judas, he’s a good dog. Bumper would die for me. But, here’s the important thing: Bumper is just a beast that’d be nothing without a master. When I named him, I CREATED him. I gave him an identity. He finds meaning and purpose through me, his master, who loves him. Bumper is completed by me. When your life is me, you will be the most you that you can be. I’ve come to give you life and give it completely.

Tr8: You ARE defined by your master. Choose Christ as your master. You become you when you are known by  Jesus.

followerMurphy, the non-disciple, stood speechlessly steaming as his wife, Harpreet, walked away. He’d just smacked her a good one in the middle of an argument. Harpreet, from a former abusive relationship, also just smacked him.

This was something both thought would never happen. But, in the heat of the moment, under the circumstances, both vented their frustrations physically. This was not the first time either received a smacking, but it was the first time between THEM.

Murphy (to himself): I can’t believe this…

Harpreet: I can’t believe this.

Murph: I’m sorry, I…

Harpreet: Either the pub goes or I do!

Murph: There’s nothing wrong with the pub! It’s how I make a living and take care of you!

Harpreet: No, it’s how you avoid me and leave me on my own!

Murph: You know I love you. How else am I to pay the bills?

Harpreet: Find a way that doesn’t require you to tend bar all hours of the day and night.

Murph: This isn’t fair…

Harpreet walks out.

Murph (as she goes): I’ll work something out. I promise.

Harpreet: Yeah, sure. What’ll you do?

Murphy, moodily locks up his pub and heads up to the nearby highlands to seek wisdom from the Oracle of Galilee, Madam Roberts. She lives in a cave and is locally known for her wisdom.

Madam Roberts (rubbing her brow knowingly): Ah! You have a problem and come for the Wisdom of the Oracle. Sit.

Murph (sitting across from Madam): Wow, how did you know? My marriage is falling apart. I need you to help me.

Madam: The Oracle needs inspiration.

Murph (pulling out a few denari): Here’s an offering. My problem is…

Madam (holding up her hand): Stop. The Oracle knows all. You have fought with your wife.

Murph: Well, duh. She thinks I don’t…

Madam (closes her eyes, sways, rises and lifts her hands: The Oracle speaks: “Love not the circumstances dictate actions.” Go. Next.

A man with a goat enters the cave.

Murph (startled; as he’s leaving): Hey, can I buy a comma?!

Murphy is pushed out of the cave.

Murph (heading down the hill): Well, crap. Love, not the circumstances, dictate actions?Love not, the circumstances dictate actions? Love not the circumstances, dictate actions?

When Murphy returns to his pub he turns around and finds Jesus following him.

Murph: Hey, Jesus. What are you doing?

Jesus: I’ve been following you.

Murph: Really? I’ve been up to the Oracle. She wasn’t much help. Wouldn’t give me a comma.

Jesus: Well, what did you expect? I’ll give you the comma–it goes after the first word.

Murph: Love, not the circumstances dictate actions.

Jesus: Yep.

Murph: I love Harpreet but that doesn’t change the circumstances.

Jesus: If love can’t change your circumstances, you are stuck.

Murph: Why can’t Harpreet change and work within our circumstances?

Jesus: Whose love do you control? Figure out what part of the problem is yours and begin working with that.

Murph: Harpreet will only be happy if I give up the pub!

Jesus: Love is most evident in sacrifice. Think about those who love you and you’ll be thinking of those who have made sacrifices for your sake. They’ve followed you all your live. Only love can inspire such sacrifices–it’s not natural or rational.

Murph: Hmm. You’re right, but I don’t know if I can make the kind of sacrifices needed in my case.

Jesus: Follow me. You and Harpreet, follow me.

Murph: But what if she won’t?

Jesus: Love follows. It’s the sacrifice. You follow me, she follows you, you follow her, I follow you…love follows. If she loves you, she’ll follow you. If you love her, you’ll follow her. If you love me, you’ll follow me. If you follow me, I will care for you.

Murph: How can I follow you AND follow her?

Jesus: Murphy, we are good friends, right? Do for Harpreet as I would do for you. You found me here for you today. I’ll always have what you need. You be me to her. The key: Start over. Whoever follows, always gets another start–another chance to get it right.

Murph: Okay, I’ll restart. I’ll follow. If all goes well, we’ll both follow, but no matter what, I’ll follow.

Tr8: Love follows.