Sunday, January 7, 2018

Epiphany and other bloopers

Jesus Christ - Liberator
by Will Wheaton
I'm not exactly sure why, but the Feast of the Epiphany has engendered a few funny events in our parish in recent history. We've probably all heard the joke about the little boy telling his baby sister about how the "three wise guys" go to visit the Holy Family, and there are many other scripture-related jokes, but it's the real life stories that are the funniest.

Six years ago today, a lovely woman stood up in church and read, "they offered him gifts of gold, frankenstein..." her voice trailed off and we could see her thoughts whirring, wait, that's not right. After a moment of thinking hard, she tried again, "they offered him gifts of gold, frankensigns (that sounds better) and myrrh." It was enough to give our whole pew silent giggles through the rest of the story.

And this weekend, our gentle cantor stood up to sing Psalm 72 -- "Lord, every nation on earth will adore you." Perhaps it was the extra long third verse, requiring her full concentration on the tune more than the words: "The kings of Sheba and Seba shall bring him gifts." she sang, "Before him all rulers shall fall prostate..."  And I got the silent giggles once again.

It's silly little moments like these that make me wonder... what does God think when looking down on our churches? Does God perhaps wish we'd lighten up a little? When frankincense becomes frankenstein, a baby gets a really loud case of the hiccups, or the choir sings, "Were you there when they nailed him in the tomb," I can't help but think there might be a Divine Hand at work, bringing a bit more hilarity to our solemnity...

O God,
your humour knows no limits.

I see it in your creatures,
in the people who share my life,
and in stories told about you...

I imagine Sara and Abraham
laughing at a God who says
that she will bear a child.

And laughing again when Isaac arrives.

I imagine Zechariah
laughing with joy
when his voice returned
at the naming of John the Baptist.

I imagine your son,
Jesus
laughing with delight
with the groom at the wedding of Cana,
when the water turned to wine.

And I imagine you,
laughing along at all these times and so many others,
including when your people giggle in church.

Help us not to take ourselves so seriously,
to notice, embrace and enjoy
your sense of humour
in our daily lives.

+Amen.

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