Friday, April 06, 2007

I May Need Your Prayers Any Minute Now...

As you read this, it is Good Friday. What the hell are you doing reading this, you heathen? You couldn't possibly believe that anything I have to say is divinely inspired. Get your ass to church.

OK, now that the easily-guilted holy rollers are gone, let’s get down to business.

(By the way, I’m writing this on Thursday night, wise guy; that’s why I’M not in church, OK?)

(Well, all right, it IS Maundy Thursday, but my feet are already clean.)

(That’s a Catholic joke. See, Maundy Thursday was when Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, showing them that the way to do His business was to serve others, no matter how high and mighty you were perceived to be. In the Catholic Church, some parishioners have their feet washed by the priest at Maundy Thursday services.)

(Except in Boston, the Archbishop refused to wash the feet of some female parishioners a couple of years back. He said something to the effect that Jesus only washed men’s feet, so he wasn’t going to wash women’s feet, either. That’s why I haven’t been to a Catholic mass in quite some time, even though I’m most definitely still a Christian.)

(So now, I’ve gone from lightly sacrilegious and flippant to deadly serious. Bummer. Let’s see if we can recapture the mood.)

Jesus is hanging on the cross. He looks down and sees Mary Magdelene crying.

Jesus says, “Mary...”

Mary looks up, still crying, and says, “What is it, Lord?”

Jesus says, “Mary...”

Mary again says, “What is it, Lord?”

Jesus says, “Mary, it’s... amazing.”

Mary says, “What, Lord? What is it? What’s amazing?”

“I can see your house from up here!”

Whoa, Pilgrim! Don’t go away mad. You think it’s just a crummy blasphemous joke, but I can justify almost anything. Nothing up my sleeve... PRESTO!

See, Jesus is closer to heaven and he can see Mary’s house IN HEAVEN. He’s telling her that her faith has saved her and that she will spend eternity in paradise. Hah!

And I guess that’s today’s lesson: It all depends upon your point of view. This is “Good” Friday, right? Why? Why do Christians call this “Good” Friday, when this is the anniversary of the day when their savior was murdered; the day He was nailed to a tree and died a miserable, painful death?

Because without the cross – without the death - none of us can ever see our house in heaven, no matter how high up we are here on earth.

(Boy, that was pretty good! Quick! Are the easily-guilted holy rollers still within shouting distance? Call them back. Maybe this is divinely inspired. Let’s see if I can wriggle out of another one.)

So, see the painting up above, of Jesus on the cross? There’s a plaque nailed to the cross, just above His head. The plaque reads “INRI.” Want to know what it means?

I’m Nailed Right In.

Well, what it really means is lightning bolts should be coming any minute now and I’ll be going to hell immediately if God doesn't have a sense of humor. However, I believe that God has an amazing sense of humor. My belief is that, when we die, we’re going to find out that this whole thing was one long and involved joke. And we’ll laugh and laugh and laugh when we hear the punch line.

Or, if you don’t find that terribly convincing, try this on for size. If God doesn’t have a sense of humor, what can we expect in the afterlife? An eternity without laughter? Hey, kill me now and leave me dead; none of that resurrection shit for me, thanks.

Or are some jokes theologically sound and others not? Maybe. We all have subjective senses of humor, I guess. Maybe God does, too. If so, the only way to know for sure is if we can hear God laugh. Then we’d know what He finds funny. Let's try it. Cue Simon & Garfunkel.

(*sounds of silence*)

So, I don’t hear God laughing. I’m assuming you don’t hear anything, either, right? Well, that's OK; it wasn't that good a joke. Maybe we'll try again later.

What it comes down to is having faith. One way or another, you've got to have faith. If you don't, you're screwed. My faith lives in the belief that everything is for the best and that everything will be revealed in the end. Now, if what's revealed in the end is that God has absolutely no sense of humor whatsoever, and He's royally pissed off at me for this, then that's the way it goes; I'm doomed. But if God has no sense of humor, I've been doomed for a long, long time now. You, too - so at least we'll all fry together.

(The following will seem totally unconnected, but wait for it.)

I remember watching The Mike Douglas Show, one day when I was a kid, and he had this comedy troupe on. For the life of me, I can't remember their name. However, the bit they did has stuck with me forever. It was a parody of Moby Dick.

Ahab and Ishmael are standing on the deck of the Peqoud. Ahab is looking through a telescope. Suddenly, he sees something and gets all excited.

Ishmael: "What is it? What do you see?"


Ishmael: "Let me see."

Ahab hands him the telescope. Ishmael puts it up to his eye and looks out at the sea. After a little while, he takes the telescope down from his eye and hands it back to Ahab. He says:

"Eh. It's a good white whale..."

Now, I know why it's called Good Friday. It's because people were saying, "What a horrible day! They've croaked Jesus!" And so it had to be explained over and over that this was actually not a bad thing when you consider how it plays out in the end. So, "Good" Friday.

But why not really get the point across? Why not go all the way and call it Great Friday? Or even Super-Duper Amazingly Fantastic Friday, All Sins Forgiven Or Your Money Back? A little salesmanship wouldn't hurt...

Well, that's about it for me. I'm doomed, right? Eternal damnation; fire and brimstone; some guy with horns, in a red union suit, poking me with a pitchfork.

Nah. See, Jesus died for our sins and that even includes crummy jokes. Thank God.

And, if you're an atheist, I got you to actually consider this stuff for five minutes. I got you to read the name - Jesus - 12 or 13 times. I figure that's got to count for something.

Have a joyous Easter and I'll see you on Monday - unless I'm struck by lightning.


David Sullivan said...

"you have 10 'Our Fathers', 20 'Hail Marys' and 50 'Glory Be's'"

I ahve a "Good Friday" post..scary

Anonymous said...

You are sooooo going to hell after this post! All those Jesus jokes, which I actually loved. I can love them, you see, because I'm Jewish. You can't. I grew up in a really Catholic town in New Jersey, so I am familiar with a lot you people's churchy things. So wipe that smile off your face and eat fish.

Suldog said...

You got it perfect, David.

(You should all go and read my cousin's post. It's great.)

Rhea: I am having tuna fish for lunch, if that helps.

*Goddess* said...

LOL! Loved the joke about Jesus on the Cross...

As a Catholic School survivor, if ya don't laugh about some of this stuff, you'll cry;)

Sassy said...

I totally believe God has a sense of humor...i mean, he created man and woman to be together, didn't he? Two completely different species who don't understand each other and yet are supposed to live together and procreate?! HILARIOUS!! :-D

Happy, Happy Easter, Suldog! Hallelujah, He is RISEN!!!

KAYLEE said...

I love all those jokes:-) said...

Praise God for Grace...we don't have to feel guilty 'cause we are under the influence of satan.

Also, the eternal burning hell is only for satan and his band! We'll talk sometime.

BRUNO said...

Ya' make some good points, but I think I'll stick to hammerin' the human race in general, and leave the Almighty alone!

But, it DOES indeed make one think, at least, and that IS good.....!

Sharfa said...

Thanks - I needed a laugh. As you can imagine - I'm pretty pissed off at God right now. We're not on speaking terms (we won't count the prayer of desperation I made while showering today, and no God doesn't care if you're nekkid. Besides, you can't feel the tears so much).

28 years ago on Good Friday the 13th, my paternal grandmother died from liver cancer. I believe she was only 57. Though she might have lived, if she sought treatment earlier, she didn't because she didn't have health insurance)

Good Friday my ass. (That is a joke. I can do that, because I have a couple Bacardi cocktails in me right now.)

I don't know if I'm screwed or not. I believe in God, but not the Catholic Church. I don't think God had greed, politics, burning at the stake or Pedophilia in mind, when he sent us his only son. My Faith is fairly shaky at the moment. I don't give a shit what the big plan is, there is nothing good, fair or right with what my parents are going through right now.