“Holy Humor Sunday”

Posted By Beckie Sweet on Apr 16, 2023 | 0 comments

April 16, 2023 ~ 2nd Sunday of Easter

Rev. Beckie Sweet


A pastor was speaking to a group of second graders about the resurrection of Jesus, which is not an easy concept for adults to grasp, and even more challenging for children.  One of the second graders asked, “What did Jesus say right after He came out of the grave?”  The pastor explained that the Gospels do not tell us what Jesus said.  At that, the hand of one little girl shot up, and she blurted out, “I know, I know what He said.  Jesus said, ‘Tah-dah!’”


Holy Humor Sunday, or Bright Sunday, as it is sometimes called, is not new.  In fact, in the early church, the Sunday after Easter was observed by the faithful as a day of joy and laughter with parties and shenanigans to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection.  It was commonly held that with Easter, God had played the ultimate joke on the devil by raising Jesus from the dead.

So, on the Sunday after Easter, parishioners and pastors would tell jokes and have fun.  The congregations and pastors would often play practical jokes on each other, drench each other with water, sing and dance.  Now you know why so many pastors take vacation right after Easter!!  The observance of Bright Sunday was actually outlawed by Pope Clement X in the 17th century!  Perhaps folks were having too much fun!

But after all of the solemnity of Lent and Holy Week, who doesn’t need some raucous laughter to remind us that God indeed created us to be a people of JOY?  A Resurrection Faith is certainly one filled with laughter.


“Do you believe in life after death?” the boss asked one of his employees.  “Yes, Sir.” The new employee replied.  “Well, then, that makes everything just fine.” The boss went on.  “After you left early yesterday to go to your grandmother’s funeral, she stopped in to see you in your new office.”


And Holy Humor Sunday is not intended to display irreverence or lack of respect for others.  We are reminded that holy laughter is a way of rejoicing in the Lord.  It can even be a means of grace as laughter draws together those who have been long separated over disagreements or a lack of attention to a joy-filled relationship, especially the one that will last unto eternity.


When Forest Gump died,  he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates.  St. Peter said, “Welcome, Forest.  We’ve heard a lot about you.”  He continued, “Unfortunately, it’s getting pretty crowded up here and we find that we now have to give people an entrance examination before we let them in.”

“Okay,” said Forest.  I hope it’s not too hard.  I’ve already been through a test.  My momma used to say, ‘Life is like a final exam.  It’s hard.”

“Yes, Forest, I know.  But this test has only three questions.  Here they are:

  1. Which two days of the week begin with the letter ‘T’?
  2. How many seconds are in a year?
  3. What is God’s first name?

“Well, sir,” said Forest, “The first one is easy.  Which two days of the week begin with the letter ‘T’?  Today and Tomorrow.”

St. Peter looked surprised and said, “Well, that wasn’t the answer I was looking for, but you have a point.  I give you credit for that answer.”

“The next question,” said Forest, “How many seconds are in a year?  Twelve.”

“Twelve?” said St. Peter, surprised and confused.

“Yes, sir.  January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd…”

St. Peter interrupted him.  “I see what you mean.  I’ll have to give you credit for that one, too.”

“And the last question,” said Forest, “What is God’s first name?  It’s Andy.”

“Andy?” said St. Peter, in shock.  “How did you come up with ‘Andy’?”

“I learned it in church.  We used to sing about it.”  Forest broke into song, “Andy walks with me, Andy talks with me, Andy tells me I am His own.”

St. Peter opened the gate to heaven and said, “Run, Forest, Run!”


That’s the thing about holy humor – it makes us laugh because it brings an element of surprise, the unexpected to us.  That’s why I like the image of the laughing, Risen Christ, that is on display.  It captures the joy of the Risen Christ showing up where you least expect him: with the disciples when they are fishing, and to the disciples when they were locked away for fear of the Jews.  Think about those times when you, or a family member or friend, was suddenly aware of the presence of Christ.  And consider the joy it must bring to Christ to be able to surprise us in that way.


A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. They were always getting into trouble and their parents knew that, if any mischief occurred in their town, their sons were probably involved. The boys’ mother heard that a clergyperson in town had been successful in helping children gain some self-discipline, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The pastor agreed, but asked to see them individually.

So, the mother sent her 8-year-old first, in the morning, with the older boy to see the pastor in the afternoon. The pastor, a tall, imposing man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, “Where is God?” The boy’s mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging open, wide-eyed.  The pastor repeated the question in an even sterner tone, “Where is God!!?” Again, the boy made no attempt to answer. So, the pastor raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face and bellowed, “WHERE IS GOD!?” The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, “What happened?” The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied, “We are in BIG trouble this time, dude. God is missing – and they think WE did it!”


Perhaps it seems that God is missing from our lives from time to time.  That may be because we have a difficult time defining God, and often place God within the confines of human stereotypes.  My long-time friend, Gilbert Tagle of Donna Texas send me an anonymous author’s attempt at defining Jesus.  Now, these stereotypes may bring out a laugh or a groan!!


There are 3 good arguments that Jesus was black:

  1. He called everyone brother.
  2. He liked gospel music.
  3. He didn’t get a fair trial.

There are 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was Jewish:

  1. He went into His Father’s business.
  2. He lived at home until he was 33.
  3. He was sure his Mother was a virgin and his Mother was sure he was God.

But then there are 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was Italian:

  1. He talked with his hands.
  2. He had wine with His meals.
  3. He used olive oil.

And there are 3 good arguments that Jesus was Native American:

  1. He was at peace with nature.
  2. He ate a LOT of fish.
  3. He talked about the Great Spirit.

But then there are 3 good arguments that Jesus was Irish:

  1. He never got married.
  2. He was always telling stories.
  3. He loved green pastures.

And then there are the 3 good arguments that Jesus was Mexican:

  1. He treated his mama like she was a saint.
  2. He always wore llantas and a serape.
  3. He was a carpenter who could fix anything.

Lastly, there are most compelling arguments that Jesus was a woman:

  1. He fed a crowd at a moment’s notice when there was virtually no food.
  2. He kept trying to get a message across to a bunch of men who just didn’t get it.
  3. And even when He was dead, He had to get up because there was still work to do.


Proverbs 17:22 states: “A cheerful heart is a good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.”

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