Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Joke

Last Sunday I planned to start the message with the joke below. But it didn't happen that way. It was Scout Sunday and so we had some great guests with us and I didn't want to offend any of them. Especially the kids - and the parents who might have to answer some "interesting" questions. The point of the joke is in the addendum at the end.
A priest, a pastor and a rabbi walk into a bar to share a drink and talk shop. Shop for guys like this is preaching, and one of them makes the comment that preaching to people isn’t really all that hard. Well, they have a few rounds, and so they decide to do an experiment. They each agree to go out into the woods, find a bear, preach to it, and attempt to convert it.

The next day back in the bar, they share their stories. Father Flannery is bandaged head to toe and on crutches. He reports, “When I found my bear, I read to him from the Catechism. Well, that bear just started slapping me around. So I quickly grabbed my holy water, sprinkled him, and bless me, he became as gentle a lamb. The bishop is going out next week to give him first communion and confirmation.”

Reverend Billy spoke next from his wheelchair, one arm and both legs in casts. In his best fire-and-brimstone style he claims, “Well brothers, you know we don’t sprinkle anything. But I found me a barr and read to him from God’s Holy Word! But that barr wanted nothing to do with me. So I took hold of him and we began to wrassle. We wrassled up one hill and down another until we came to a crick. So I quick dunked him and baptized his hairy soul! And just like you said, he became as gentle as a lamb. We spent the rest of the day praising Jesus and I signed him up for New Members class."

They both looked down at Rabbi Goldstein who was in pretty bad shape — an IV drip, full body cast and he’d been wheeled in, in a hospital bed. The rabbi sighed in pain and reflected, “Looking back on it, I probably shouldn’t have started with circumcision.”

The Point of Telling It
Okay, so there it is. I was preaching on "gray areas" and wanted to kick off with a story that was a gray area all it's own.
What part of that story made some of your cringe the most? Religious leaders in a bar? Having a drink, and then tossing back a few? Clergy bragging and holding a preaching contest? Religious stereotypes? A punch line about circumcision?
That's all there is to it! I think I made the right decision by leaving it out that Sunday. I know Ana was relieved!


  1. Now that opening in itself would have been worth flying back for a long weekend! God has an amazing sense of humor and might have cringed a little at first but I feel eventually he would have sustained a deep belly laugh...

    Brad Bernardy

  2. Geeze, Curtis, you're such a chicken - those scout parents would have LOVED it.

    welcome back,


Thanks for posting!