Parson to Person May 2016

“Clever Clergy Cards”

Sometimes one of you sends me a card that reminds me of my role as your minister. Frequently it tickles my funny-bone. One recent one was a birthday card that showed a traffic cop pulling over a cleric and saying, “Reverend, have you been drinking?” The reverend says, “Just water, officer.” Then when you open up the card it shows the same cop saying, “Then why do I smell wine?” And the minister replies, “Good Lord, he’s done it again!”

I enjoy this joke because it 1) shows a minister’s human frailty while 2) showcasing his ability to think fast. (For those of you unfamiliar with this “first miracle” of Jesus, check out the story in John 2:1-11.)

Another card had Jesus holding out a loaf of bread and a fish (in reference to the multiplication-of-the-loaves-and-fishes story that I spoke about on Easter). Around him the people are saying things like “I can’t eat that, I’m a vegan”; “Has that fish been tested for mercury?”; and “Is that bread gluten-free?”

Still another card one of you sent (after learning of my recent back problems and Craig’s kidney stones) read: “There’s probably a Bible verse that’d be perfect right now.” Then, when you open up the card, the inside says, “Too bad you have heathens for friends!”

Again, the juxtaposition of seeing reverence with irreverent self-deprecation can’t help but make a minister chuckle. (I’ll bet most of my fellow clergy in town don’t get cards this good!)

There are many other cards I could mention (and some I couldn’t mention!), both silly and serious, reverent and rowdy, loving and laughing. (A UU colleague of mine once referred to such treasures as “mannah from the mailbox.”) I just wanted you to know I enjoy all of the “mannah” I get and that I appreciate its variety – which, after all, reflects the diversity of belief and personality in our UU congregation itself!

With love and laughter – and, of course – peace and unrest,
Tony Larsen

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