In his beautiful book, “I Shall Not Want,” Robert Ketchum tells of a Sunday School teacher who asked her group of children if anyone could quote the entire 23rd Psalm. A golden-haired, four-and-a-half-year-old girl was among those who raised their hands.
A bit skeptical, the teacher asked if she could really quote the entire psalm.
The little girl came to the front of the room, faced the class, made a perky little bow, and said, “The Lord is my shepherd, that’s all I want.”
She bowed again and went and sat down.
That may well be the greatest interpretation of the 23rd Psalm ever heard.
All Preachers Here We Go
We had a substitute preacher preaching at our church and he told this story. He said, when he was younger, he thought that the doxology went: “Praise God from whom all blessings go, Praise him all preachers here we go (instead of creatures here below), then praise him above the heavenly host, praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” He said he thought that because, when everyone sang that, often the preacher leaves the pulpit and walks out!
Recently a large seminar was held for ministers in training. Among the guests were many well-known motivational speakers. One such boldly approached the pulpit and, gathering the entire crowd’s attention, said, “The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman that wasn’t my wife!” The crowd was shocked! He followed up by saying, “And that woman was my mother!” The crowd burst into laughter and he gave his speech, which went over well.
About a week later one of the assistant ministers who had attended the seminar decided to use that joke in what was his first sermon to the congregation. As he shyly approached the pulpit one Sunday, he tried to rehearse the joke in his head. He was notably very nervous and getting to the microphone he said loudly, “The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of another woman that was not my wife!” His congregation sat shocked.
After standing there for almost 10 seconds the pastor finally blurted out, “…and I can’t remember who she was!”
Little Johnny went to Sunday school one Sunday. The lesson for the day was from Genesis. “God opened up Adam’s side, took a rib from him, and created Eve from it,” was what really struck Johnny.
Later, that afternoon, Johnny started feeing sick, and his side began to hurt. He layed down on the couch, and after about half an hour, his mother came over and asked him if he was feeling okay. He said, “Not really – I think I’m gonna have a wife.”
The Presbyterian church called a meeting to decide what to do about their squirrel infestation. After much prayer and consideration, they concluded that the squirrels were predestined to be there, and they shouldn’t interfere with God’s divine will.
At the Baptist church the squirrels had taken an interest in the baptistery. The deacons met and decided to put a water-slide on the baptistery and let the squirrels drown themselves. The squirrels liked the slide and unfortunately, knew instinctively how to swim, so twice as many squirrels showed up the following week.
The Lutheran church decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God’s creatures. So, they humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist church. Two weeks later the squirrels were back when the Baptists took down the water-slide.
The Episcopalians tried a much more unique path by setting out pans of whiskey around their church in an effort to kill the squirrels with alcohol poisoning. They sadly learned how much damage a band of drunk squirrels can do.
But the Catholic church came up with a very creative strategy! They baptized all the squirrels and made them members of the church. Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.
And not much was heard from the Jewish synagogue. They took the first squirrel and circumcised him.
After church, Johnny tells his parents he has to go and talk to the minister right away. They agree, and the pastor greets the family.
“Pastor,” Johnny says, “I heard you say today that our bodies came from the dust.”
“That’s right, Johnny, I did,” he says.
“And I heard you say that when we die, our bodies go back to dust.”
“Yes, I’m glad you were listening,” the pastor replies. “Why do you ask?”
“Well you better come over to our house right away and look under my bed, ’cause there’s someone either comin’ or goin’!”
It was the day after Christmas at a church in San Francisco. The pastor of the church was looking over the cradle when he noticed that the baby Jesus was missing from among the figures. Immediately he turned and went outside to look and saw a little boy with a red wagon, and in the wagon was the figure of the little infant, Jesus. He walked up to the boy and said, “Well, where did you get Him, my fine friend?”
The little boy replied, “I got him from the church.”
“And why did you take him?”
The boy said, “Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to the little Lord Jesus and I told him if he would bring me a red wagon for Christmas I would give him a ride around the block in it.
An elderly woman walked into the local country church. The friendly usher greeted her at the door and helped her up the flight of steps. “Where would you like to sit?” he asked politely.
“The front row please.” she answered.
“You really don’t want to do that”, the usher said, “The pastor is really boring.”
“Do you happen to know who I am?” the woman inquired.
“No.” he said.
“I’m the pastor’s mother,” she replied indignantly.
“Do you know who I am?” he asked.
“No.” she said.
“Good,” he answered.
Painting the church
A cheating painting contractor had been skimping by thinning his paint excessively. Nevertheless, he landed a big job painting a church. He was almost done when a major storm blew up. It washed all the paint off.
Amid the thunder and lightening, there came a loud voice…
“REPAINT,” it boomed. “REPAINT, AND THIN NO MORE!”
Pastor Dave Charlton tells us: “After a worship service at First Baptist Church in Newcastle, Kentucky, a mother with a fidgety seven-year-old boy told me how she finally got her son to sit still and be quiet.
About halfway through the sermon, she leaned over and whispered, ‘If you don’t be quiet, Pastor Charlton is going to lose his place and he will have to start his sermon all over again!’ It worked.”
Murphy showed up at Mass one Sunday and the priest almost fell down when he saw him.
He’d never been to church in his life. After Mass, the priest caught up with him and said,
“Murphy, I am so glad ya decided to come to Mass. What made ya come?”
Murphy said, “I got to be honest with you Father, a while back, I misplaced me hat and I really, really love that hat. I know that McGlynn had a hat just like mine and I knew he came to church every Sunday. I also knew that he had to take off his hat during Mass and figured he would leave it in the back of church. So, I was going to leave after Communion & steal McGlynn’s hat.”
The priest said, “Well, Murphy, I notice that ya didn’t steal McGlynn’s hat. What changed your mind?”
Murphy replied, “Well, after I heard your sermon on the 10 Commandments, I decided that I didn’t need to steal McGlynn’s hat after all.”
With a tear in his eye the priest gave Murphy a big smile & said; “After I talked about ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ ya decided you would rather do without your hat than burn in Hell?”
Murphy slowly shook his head. “No, Father, after ya talked about ‘Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery,’ I remembered where I left me hat.”
Reverend to his congregation: “We have good news and bad news.
The bad news is that the roof needs repairing.
The good news is that we have the money to pay for it.”
(appreciative murmers all round)
Reverend: “The extra bad news is that it’s still in your pockets!”
A few minutes before the church services started, the townspeople were sitting in their pews and talking. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone started screaming and running for the front entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from evil incarnate. Soon everyone had exited the church except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew without moving, seeming oblivious to the fact that God’s ultimate enemy was in his presence. So Satan walked up to the old man and said, “Don’t you know who I am?”
The man replied, “Yep, sure do.”
“Aren’t you afraid of me?” Satan asked.
“Nope, sure ain’t.” said the man.
“Don’t you realize I can kill you with a word?” asked Satan.
“Don’t doubt it for a minute,” returned the old man, in an even tone.
“Did you know that I could cause you profound, horrifying, physical AGONY for all eternity?” persisted Satan.
“Yep,” was the calm reply.
“And you’re still not afraid?” asked Satan.
More than a little perturbed, Satan asked, “Well, why aren’t you afraid of me?”
The man calmly replied, “Been married to your sister for over 48 years.”
All the way home in the back seat of the car the boy was quiet. His father asked him three times what was wrong.
Finally, the boy replied, “The preacher said he wanted us all brought up in a Christian home, but I wanted to stay with you guys.”
Terri asked her Sunday School class to draw pictures of their favorite bible stories. She was puzzled by Kyle’s picture, which showed four people on an airplane. So, she asked him which story it was meant to represent.
“The flight to Egypt,” said Kyle.
“I see… And that must be Mary, Joseph, and the Baby Jesus,” Ms. Terri said. “But who’s the fourth person?”
Kyle explained, “Oh, that’s Pontius the Pilot!”
The Sunday School Teacher asked, “Now, Johnny, tell me frankly, do you say prayers before eating?”
“No sir,” little Johnny replies, “I don’t have to – my Mom is a good cook!”