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OK, so it’s not as important as sending a letter to or on behalf of persecuted people (you read the editorial, didn’t you?), but please consider giving a gift of humor too. You may even send us a joke in a Christmas card, if you’re so inclined. Address those cards to The Banner at 2850 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49560. If you’re not the Christmas-card type, simply e-mail your joke to Thanks!

At First Christian Reformed Church, Visalia, Calif., the pastor ends every service by blessing the congregation with the Hebrew word shalom, which means peace. Recently he preached an entire sermon on the word and its meaning.

As the message got under way,the pastor’s grandson Joey, sitting next to his mom in the pew and diligently coloring, looked up at the screen, where he saw shalom in bold letters. At which point he began packing up his crayons. Proud of his new reading skills, he whispered, “Look, Mom, it says shalom up there.”

“Good job, Joey,” she said. “Do you know what shalom means?”

“Yup,” he replied. “It means ‘You can leave now.’”

Dan Vink

One Sunday morning as the offering plates were being passed, young Tommy asked his dad for a dollar. The plates passed by, but Tommy held on to his dollar. Later, as he greeted the minister, Tommy handed him the dollar bill. The pastor thanked Tommy and asked why he deserved the money. “Oh,” replied the young boy, “my parents say you’re the poorest minister we’ve ever had.”

—Jean Himes

A church council advertised for a one-armed pastor. Several two-armed candidates applied in vain. Finally, one rejected pastor found courage to ask about the unusual requirement. “Well,” an elder said, “our previous pastor explained everything by saying, ‘On the one hand . . . but on the other . . .’”

Carl Tuyl

I received a set of Shirley Temple DVDs for my birthday and was watching one with my 5-year-old granddaughter. After several minutes she said, “Where’s the color? Why isn’t there any color?” I explained that when the movie was made—way back when I was a little girl—everything was in black and white. With a puzzled look she asked, “Didn’t God say ‘Let there be color’ yet?”

Joan Bonnema

My daughter and her husband were taking a walk with their little boy, Hans, and their new baby. Along the way they met up with friends, who stopped to chat and admire the baby. One of the friends asked Hans if she could take the baby home with her. Hans quickly replied, “No way. We hatched him, and he’s ours.”

Esther Wessels

A Sunday-school teacher tested her students to see if they understood how to get to heaven.

“If I sold my house and my car and had a big garage sale, then gave all my money to the church, would that get me to heaven?” she asked.

“No!” the children answered.

“What if I cleaned the church every day, mowed the yard, and kept everything neat and tidy, would that get me to heaven?”

Again the answer was “No!”

By now the teacher started to smile. “Well then,” she said, “what if I were kind to animals and gave candy to all children?”

Again her pupils shouted, “No!” The teacher was bursting with pride for them.

“Then how can I get to heaven?” she asked.

A 5-year-old boy shouted, “You gotta be dead!”

Jean Brayman

My daughter has a 9-month-old who is crawling and getting into things. The other day Mommy and his 5-year-old sister, Megan, had to part him from trouble and tell him “No!” three times in short succession. Finally, exasperated, Megan put her hands on her hips and exclaimed, “Mommy, isn’t this why we had him baptized?”

Sandy Sall

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