The word of God came to Jonah a second time, saying,
            “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city,
             and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.”
Jonah 3.1-2

I bet your Sunday School teacher wasted that wonderful felt board to teach you some somber lesson about Jonah the prophet, without a single confetti of irony. Too bad. The story of Jonah is a farce—some of God’s best slapstick. Picture Jonah as one of the Three Stooges. Read it all at once (really—it’ll take ten minutes), with your sense of humor intact. Read it and laugh. Here’s some of what your Serious Sunday School teacher may have missed.

• Life is more of a comedy than a tragedy. Lighten up.
• As dangerous as God is, the greatest risk is in trying to be safe.
• Ever watch somebody on slippery ice trying hard not to fall down?
               God is gravity. It’s almost always funny when we try to resist it.
• The storms in our life are not a test. But they might be a question.
• Your best friends won’t throw you under the bus,
               but they will throw you overboard.
• In the middle of a raucous slapstick tale, Jonah, at the bottom of the sea,
               prays a beautiful prayer. Turns out the belly of a whale
               is a great place for contemplation. Seriously.
• When a big fish swallows you, don’t worry. Sooner or later it’ll barf.
• One thing that makes it hard for people to repent
               is that we expect them not to.
• When saints judge people they trade places with the sinners.
• Ever notice how often we’re mad because God isn’t?
• God loves everybody, even our enemies. And also much cattle.
• Nothing can overwhelm love, but even a worm can upset pride.
• It’s OK to read the Bible and laugh. Just remember:
• God always gets the last laugh. And it’s pretty funny.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

January 22, 2021