Was that funny?
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“I liked that joke the pastor told in the sermon this morning,” Rolly said during lunch at home after the church service. “Didn’t you?” He shot a look at his dad and then his mom.

“Joke?” repeated Dad. “I didn’t hear a joke.”

“Honey, you were late getting to the sanctuary today,” Rolly’s mom said. “You had to go home and change your shoes because the heel of one of your new shoes fell off.”

Rolly laughed. “That’s funny,” he said.

“I don’t think so,” Dad said. Then to Mom, he said, “That’s right, dear. I did.”

“Did YOU hear the joke?” Rolly asked Mom.

“It wasn’t really a joke,” she said. “The pastor just commented that a good sermon should have a good beginning and a good ending. And they should be as close together as possible.”

“Well,” Rolly said, “if it wasn’t a joke,” he said, “why did everyone laugh?”

“Rolly my son,” Dad said as he reached for the tomato sauce, “be careful not to confuse laughter with happiness.”

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Was that funny? — 14 Comments

  1. All kidding aside, the late Voice of Prophecy founder H.M.S. Richards said it best: "A sermon doesn't have to be eternal to be immortal."

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  2. If that story is "deep", I may be shallow. To me the dad's reply is totally irrelevant to the story. The subject of the story wasn't "happiness" ... it was whether or not the dad had heard the "joke" and if it wasn't a joke, why would people laugh. It would have made more sense if the dad had said, "Don't confuse the attempt to be funny with having said something meaningful."

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  3. So the father took the story seriously, mom casually but the kid and the audience understood clearly there might or not be a substantial difference between the sermon and... GETTING OUT OF THERE. The nebulous subject that none elipted was actually 'time', intelligently planted to flower boughs of laughter. Laughter might also have come from reminesence of drawn out sermons or the fearful perspective of the present being omenous of a 'big mac sermon' menace.
    When the pastor says, "...And they should be as close together as possible.”
    How near is, "as possible"? There is no gauge.
    Isn't there a lot of space between the cup and the lips?

    Although the pastor's position seemed positive it was also hypothetical which opened other windows.
    Let's try to glean the essential whether the labour is long or short.There is always something to be learned.
    And rejoice! Rejoice always. Is there anything wrong with a good sense of humour? And I do know what the wise man said... .

    Ginger, France

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    • Wow, and I just was hoping to print the lesson and in all that I got humorous story and a dissertation on it. Well we know someone spent their time and money well. Ginger, that is either a clever joke from you or an expatiated effort to blot up any remnant of humor that could have been in gleaned. Success.

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  4. I agree with Ginger wholehartedly. It is not the length of the sermon, but what we gleen from the sermon. We must hunger and thirst for every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Holy Scriptures. We must bury these words deep in our soul so we can use them as weapons and shields against the enemy. Hidden in our hearts, we can draw from them as songs of praise, encouragement, worship, and love for our Father, and as armour against the enemy.

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  5. happy sabbath day god bless u all my friend praise the lord and jesus op[en the door for you and for everyone jesus love us

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  6. Perhaps Father was making his own "joke", pointing out how at times because of our spiritual mindset we may relish more time spent and a "deeper" worship experience; yet at other times we might be happier elsewhere doing something else. The laughter may be at understanding our plight. Is our motive true worship or just in "doing our duty" by showing up for the service?

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    • I actually agree with the dad's comment about not confusing laughter with happiness. That's only too true. There is much laughter that is a front, or a cover-up, or even downright evil. To me his comment was a lemon in a bowl of apples ... a bit sour and out of place. I think dad replied as he did because he was a bit "miffed". First of all, he was embarrassed when the heel came off his shoe. Why do I say that? Because some guys would just laugh it off and carry on. But not him: he had to go home and change shoes. That made him late for the service, and I'm getting the impression that Mr. Prim-'n'-Proper is also Mr. On-Time, so more embarrassment and irritation walking into the sanctuary late. And being late caused him to miss out on something his wife and son had participated in. Ahhh, his profile continues: is he feeling just a little "left out"? Is he used to having all the answers? But not this time ... his wife has to pinch hit for him. And then, to add insult to injury, (the "last straw") his son thought the "shoe situation" was funny! His irritation is plain in his reply, "I don't think so." And just dad couldn't resist getting in a little "lesson" in laughter.

      I also happen to agree with the pastor's comment, and the mother's explanation. Even though she didn't see much humor in it ("It wasn't really a joke.") she did a good job of explaining the pastor's comment to her son, perhaps giving him (and us) a good lesson in "sermonizing".

      But I came away feeling sorry for the kid. It seems like he's the only one in the family who has a sense of humor! We can only hope it survives.

      Okay, I'll stop now. LOL

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  7. I actually agree with the dad's comment about not confusing laughter with happiness. That's only too true. There is much laughter that is a front, or a cover-up, or even downright evil. To me his comment was a lemon in a bowl of apples ... a bit sour and out of place. I think dad replied as he did because he was a bit "miffed". First of all, he was embarrassed when the heel came off his shoe. Why do I say that? Because some guys would just laugh it off and carry on. But not him: he had to go home and change shoes. That made him late for the service, and I'm getting the impression that Mr. Prim-'n'-Proper is also Mr. On-Time, so more embarrassment and irritation walking into the sanctuary late. And being late caused him to miss out on something his wife and son had participated in. Ahhh, his profile continues: is he feeling just a little "left out"? Is he used to having all the answers? (The kid looks at dad FIRST when he launches the subject.) But not this time ... his wife has to pinch hit for him. And then, to add insult to injury, (the "last straw") his son thought the "shoe situation" was funny! His irritation is plain in his reply, "I don't think so." And just dad couldn't resist getting in a little "lesson" in laughter.

    I also happen to agree with the pastor's comment, and the mother's explanation. Even though she didn't see much humor in it ("It wasn't really a joke.") she did a good job of explaining the pastor's comment to her son, perhaps giving him (and us) a good lesson in "sermonizing".

    But I came away feeling sorry for the kid. It seems like he's the only one in the family who has a sense of humor! We can only hope it survives.

    Okay, I'll stop now. LOL

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  8. The dad said 'be careful not to confuse laughter with happiness' ... he meant to tell his son that people were not laughing coz its a joke but they were happy that the sermon was going to be short...or thats the reason why He himself laughted, he was happy!! on the other hand the son could have thought it as a joke coz maybe it never happens that the sermon be so short that the beginin is near the end...coz to him sermons are usually long! lighten up people!!! Happy Sabbath to you all...

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