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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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April 2, 2009

God's holy joke


Of course you know this: it’s the 33rd anniversary of National Humor Month . I don’t know about you, but  could use some humor. The month was founded in 1976 by humorist Larry Wilde, who wanted to heighten public awareness of how joy and laughter improve our health and boost our morale.

“Since April is often bleak and grim and taxes are due on the 15th, it can be one of the most stressful times of the year,” Wilde said. “Besides, it’s the only month that begins with All Fool’s Day—a day which has sanctioned frivolity and pranks ever since the 1500s.”

I was delighted yesterday when my 6-year-old pulled a fast-one on my first thing in the morning by telling me it was snowing outside. I fell for it hook, line and snowball, and was even more delighted that it wasn’t snowing...

I don't want to run too quickly by Holy Week, but I want to remind you it may not be too late to do something on Holy Hilarity Sunday (April 19), also called Laughter Sunday, Humor Sunday, Light Bulb Sunday or Holy Fools Sunday. In Latin it’s called “Risus Paschalis”—God’s Holy Joke, the Easter Laugh. I know of one church that encourages worshipers to wear their goofiest hats to church that Sunday.

And I would remiss if I didn’t mention “Laughing with Lutherans: Highlights from 20 years of The Lutheran’s Light side, ” which would make the perfect Easter gift for your hardworking pastor(s) and others who will put endless hours in at church and computer during the coming 10 days. Congregations that gather a few folks to do the study guide at the back of the book, I’d love to hear from you!

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