The secret of His beauty

Trinidad 4

The triunity of God
is the secret
of his beauty.
If we deny this,
we have a God
without radiance,
without joy,
without humor.

–Karl Barth


The speed of humor

jumping-for-joy-over-medium-season-five-thumb copy 2

Common sense
and a sense of humor
are the same thing,
moving at different speeds.
A sense of humor is just
common sense,

–William James

To heaven and back

stock-footage-little-boy-with-father-walking-along-the-beach copy

A boy and his dad were spending a day at the sea shore. The little fellow called his father over and pointed to a dead seagull on the beach.
“What happened, Daddy?”
The father explained, “The bird died and went to heaven.”
Puzzled, the boy asked, “But, why did God throw him back down?”

Published in: on 06/21/2014 at 15:49  Leave a Comment  

What did adults do?

moises red sea

A little boy had a question for his father after Sunday School. “Daddy,” he asked, “My teacher has been telling us Bible stories — all about the children of Israel leaving Egypt, the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea, and the children of Israel building the Temple. Well, didn’t the grown ups do anything?”


Published in: on 06/14/2014 at 7:44  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

A good joke

Laughing old man-002

A good joke is one that catches you by surprise—like God’s, for instance. Who would have guessed that Israel of all nations would be the one God picked or Sarah would have Isaac at the age of ninety or the Messiah would turn up in a manger? Who could possibly see the duck-billed platypus coming or Saint Simeon Stylites or the character currently occupying the pulpit at First Presbyterian? The laugh in each case results from astonished delight at the sheer unexpectedness of the thing.

Satan’s jokes, on the other hand, you can usually spot a mile off. As soon as the serpent came slithering up to Adam and Eve, almost anybody could tell that the laugh was going to be on them. That a person as blameless, upright, and well-heeled as Job was bound to have the rug pulled out from under him before he was through… And so on.

In the last analysis, the only one who gets much of a kick out of Satan’s jokes is Satan himself. With God’s, however, even the most hardened cynics and bitterest pessimists have a hard time repressing an occasional smile. When God really gets going, even the morning stars burst into singing and all the sons of God shout for joy.

–Frederick Buechner

Published in: on 02/06/2014 at 11:24  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

The serious matter of humor


Numbers of clergymen have from time to time reproached me for making jokes about religion; and they have almost always invoked the authority of that very sensible commandment which says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” Of course, I pointed out that I was not in any conceivable sense taking the name in vain. To take a thing and make a joke out of it is not to take it in vain. It is, on the contrary, to take it and use it for an uncommonly good object. To use a thing in vain means to use it without use. But a joke may be exceedingly useful; it may contain the whole earthly sense, not to mention the whole heavenly sense, of a situation. And those who find in the Bible the commandment can find in the Bible any number of the jokes. In the same book in which God’s name is fenced from being taken in vain, God himself overwhelms Job with a torrent of terrible levities.

The same book which says that 
God’s name must not be taken vainly,
talks easily and carelessly about 
God laughing and God winking.

Evidently it is not here that we have to look for genuine examples of what is meant by a vain use of the name. And it is not very difficult to see where we have really to look for it. The people (as I tactfully pointed out to them) who really take the name of the Lord in vain are the clergymen themselves. The thing which is fundamentally and really frivolous is not a careless joke. The thing which is fundamentally and really frivolous is a careless solemnity.

–G. K. Chesterton

Image: Jeannette Woitzik

%d bloggers like this: