Laughing in Church

Recently I was guest at the congregation my sister Tina and her family are members, Germantown Mennonite. I wrote a reading Doug Brunk, Tina and I performed. The text was The Prodigal Son parable. We, of course, were mining the text for humor and perhaps another angle to an excruciatingly familiar text. Here is an excerpt from the reading:

TED: And so the son took the money.

DOUG: I hope he invested well.

TINA: Mutual funds.

DOUG: Something stable, yes.

TED: No.


TED: No.

DOUG: Alas.

TED: ...alas no. He wasted it…

TINA:  Hedge funds.


TED: He wasted it on wild living.

DOUG: A life of lust, debauchery and tax collecting.

TED: Again, there was no evidence of the collecting of taxes.

TINA: But there was sin.

TED: Yes.

DOUG: So, normal stuff…gluttony, drunkenness…women…drunken gluttonness women..

TED: Yes…normal stuff. Then…the money ran out.

DOUG: It always does…the money.

TINA: Runs out.

TED: There was a famine…

DOUG: They had eaten all the food…the glutteness drunken women……..

…and so on..


Several days later Tina sent me this email: A friend  shared with her about a conversation she had afterward with her mom.  The conversation went something like this:

Mom: So how was church?

ME: Good

Mom: How was Tina’s Brother?

Me: Good

Mom: Was it funny?

ME: Ya it was funny.

Mom:  Did you laugh?

ME: Yep.

Mom: You laughed in church?

ME: Yes Mom, I laughed in church.

Mom: Did other people laugh?

Mom: Yes other people laughed.

Mom: In church?

Me: Yes Mom other people laughed in church.

Mom: And this was the sermon?

Me: yes

Mom: hum

I’m so glad I can talk to my mom about spiritual matters. 🙂



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  1. Donna Hershberger Litchfield on March 9, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Ok, I can put “lol” down and actually mean it, which is what I did when I read the last comment.

  2. Kathy Neufeld Dunn on March 19, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Tell me Jesus never laughed…There was that speck & log comment and all.