You have heard me repeatedly mention that I work in our church office. And I am sure you were paying attention when I mentioned a few hundred times that I am Lutheran. My faith is not a funny thing, it is what keeps me going in this world, but the whole culture of Lutheranism is simply hysterical. As a fundraiser for the adoption we considered making a “Lutheran” calendar. Of course by the time we thought of it it was February and who buys a calendar in February? I thought of it again this year, but that was January… Maybe I’ll get it right next year.
I thought all of you who are not Lutheran might like a taste of what it is like to live in my little world. This is from www.oldlutheran.com. YMBALI means “You Might Be a Lutheran if…”
…you only serve Jell-O in the proper liturgical color for the season.
…when someone mentions red and green (in terms of Christmas), you immediately think of a battle over hymnals.
…during the entire service you hold your hymnal open but never look down at it.
…during communion you hum the hymns so you can see who’s at church that Sunday.
…rather than introducing yourself to a visitor at church, you check their name out in the guestbook.
…you think Garrison Keillor’s stories are totally factual.
…you have your wedding reception in the fellowship hall and feel guilty about not staying to help clean up.
…a midlife crisis means switching from the old hymnbook to the new one.
…you forget to put water in the baptismal font but never forget to put water in the coffee pot.
…the pastor skips the last hymn to make sure church lasts exactly 60 minutes.
…you don’t make eye contact when passing someone in the hall because you think it’s impolite.
…your choir believes volume is a fair substitute for tonality.
…you don’t know what was sooo funny about dat movie “Fargo” then.
…in response to someone jumping up and shouting “Praise the Lord!”, you politely remind him or her that we don’t do that around here.
…you think a meeting isn’t legitimate unless it’s at least three hours long.
…peas in your tuna noodle hotdish add too much color.
…you make change in the offering plate for a ten.
…you think butter is a spice.
…the church is on fire, and you rush in to save the coffee pot.
…you have more than five flavors of Jell-O in your pantry.
…the only open pew is up front, so you volunteer to shovel the sidewalk.
…you know what a Lutheran Church Basement Woman is.
…you think hotdish is one of the major food groups.
…http://www.luthbro.com is one of your bookmarks. (actually this should be changed to www.thrivent.com)
…your five-year-old recites the Old Testament books as Genesis, Exodus, Lutefisk…
…someone asks you after church if there’s any “decaf coffee” and you laugh because you KNOW that if it doesn’t have caffeine, it can’t be coffee!
…you think anyone who says “casserole” instead of “hotdish” is trying to be uppity (or maybe even Episcopalian!)
…you think the term “Jell-O salad” is redundant.
…you hear something really funny and smile as loud as you can.
…it takes 10 minutes to say good-bye.
…doughnuts are in the official church budget.
…they have to rope off the last pews in church so the front isn’t empty.
…you’re watching “Star Wars” in the theatre and when they say, “May the force be with you,” the theatre replies, “and also with you.”
…you tap a church visitor on the shoulder and say, “excuse me, but you’re in my seat.”
…you can say the meal prayer all in one breath.
…your church library has three Jell-O cookbooks.
…it’s time to change a lightbulb and the left side of the aisle begins a debate on “change,” while the right side of the aisle musters five volunteers–one to hold the bulb, and four to turn the ladder.
…you laugh out loud while reading this list, and relive your childhood at the same time.
… you think the four food groups are coffee, lefse, lutefisk, and Jell-O.
…you sign a petition to have Campbell Soup Co. rename its “Cream of Mushroom soup” “Lutheran Binder!”
… you pronounce the word Lutheran “Lutern.”
…requests you hear are preceeded or followed by the phrase, “If it’s not too much trouble then…”
…you know all the words to the first verse of “Silent Night” in German but can’t speak a word of it.
…you have an uncontollable urge to sit in the back of any room.
…your mother could give any Jewish mother a run for the money in the guilt department.
…you think lime Jell-O with cottage cheese and pineapple is a gourmet salad.
…Folgers has you on their Christmas list.
…you’re at an evangelistic rally and you actually manage to raise your hands waist high.
…the only mealtime prayer you know is “Come Lord Jesus.”
…you and your family of six squeeze into the last pew along with the 140 members already sitting there.
…at the close of a memo it states “Peace be with you” and you respond “and also with you.”
…you can’t get into heaven without a casserole.
…you notice the Kool Aid stock shoots up during the Vacation Bible School season.
…you consider lottery tickets a serious investment.
…you sing “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus” while sitting down.
…a line item in the trustee’s budget is “coffee maker maintenance.”
…you think tuna hotdish is a gourmet meal.
…your idea of an affirmation is “This is most certainly true.”
…it’s 110 degrees outside and you still have coffee after services.
…change means wearing your brown suit instead of your blue suit to church.
…the most mail you receive all year is from the Stewardship Committee.
…you win $10 million in the lottery and decide to throw a party and money is no object, so you advertise in the church bulletin, rent the parish hall, and ask all of your friends to bring a side dish or salad.
…a capital fund drive is needed to finance the new one million cup coffee urn.
…you serve Jell-O as a vegetable.
…your biggest fund-raisers are bake sales instead of bingo.
…you can’t have a meeting without having a meal.
…you refer to your trip to Minneapolis as a pilgrimage.
…sharing the peace during the service takes more time than the sermon.
…all your relatives graduated from a school named Concordia.
…you count coffee among the sacraments.