The Elephants Are on the Table

A number of years ago I came across a web-site called “Ship of Fools”. It is a site that is dedicated to poking some light hearted fun at the church. Coming out of Britain, no denomination is safe from their humour. One of the lessons learned from this site is although faith is a  serious matter, laughter and not taking oneself to seriously is important too.

A good number of years ago I found the top ten gaffes from sermons, prayers heard or seen in bulletins from the readers of Ship of Fools.

I would like share with you some of the gaffes that were on that list. One reader wrote that he was leading a communion service and had put the service on a data projector; but large print copies were also available. So he announced “Hard core versions are also availaable …”

There was a very English gaffe made at a church in England where the pastor was leading a communion service. As he was reading the moving words about Jesus at the Last Supper, he said “after a cuppa … I mean supper …” (Cuppa means a cup of tea)

Then there was a pastor at a church in Phoenix, Arizona who in inviting his congregation to the Lord’s Table said “Please come. The communion elephants are on the table and the Lord invites you.” There were muffled snickers but no one said a word until after the service.

A Methodist church in the U.K. in their weekly notice sheet announced “The Wesley Guild walk will start from the Hen & Chickens car park at 10 a.m.. Please bring a packed lung.

Then there was the Episcopalian Church in the United States that invited teenagers to a “Super Bowel Party.”

A Baptist Church proved the importance of proof reading. A pew sheet announced “The meeting will be gin with prayer.” We’re told the participants left looking tired and devotional.

Finally, after a carol service at a church in the U.K. worshippers were invited to stay behind for “coffee and mice pies.”

As a church, and also as individuals, it is important that we be able to laugh at ourselves. If we don’t we will be in danger of drying up and blowing away. So face your day with a light heart and determination to serve your Lord.  Remember that it is okay to make mistakes for the Lord is willing to forgive you.

Are your elephants on the table? Or maybe you’ve had some mice pie lately. Don’t let your gaffes stop you from becoming what God has intended you to be. God’s will is that you have the best and His best is life enjoyed to the fullest, no matter what life throws at you. So live with a merry heart and may the joy of the Lord’s love grow in you as a flower in the fullness of Spring.


About faithfullyhis

My name is Charles Quail and I am a retired Baptist pastor who lives in Dunnville,a small town southeast of Hamilton, Ontario. I also write a weekly column for our local newspaper, The Sachem. It is a column that I have been writing for about eight years. I am married and have two grown daughters. My best buddy was my dog Max, who is now chasing bunny rabbits in sky. I miss him terribly. My reason for wanting to write a blog is friends have told me that this is the next logical step in my writing career. My hope and prayer is that many will be both challenged and blessed by what I write.
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