What? God has Died?

It was the first Sunday after Christmas and the service at Our Lady of Holy Miracles was about to begin. The priest stood in front of the altar and gestured with his arms for the congregation to be quiet. He cleared his throat and said, “Dear friends, it is with a heavy heart that I must tell you that God has died. I received an urgent phone call from the bishop just minutes ago informing me that our Beloved Father passed away in the night surrounded by family and close friends. His last words were and I quote, ‘this past holiday, looking at the human race, well, I’ve never seen it this bad. Nobody pays attention to me anymore so what’s the point? Time to give up the ghost.’ God is survived by his two sons, Jesus, the oldest, and his younger brother, Mohammed. The will was read and is straightforward; Jesus and Mohammed will equally split the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus being in charge on odd days, Mohammed, the even days of the month. The Holy Spirit gets God’s favourite pair of slippers. There will, no doubt be a few who will contest the will, such as the Jews, the Buddhists, the Sikhs, the Hindus and atheists. To that end, God’s estate has engaged a well-known law firm to defend the will. The law firm has an earthly practice as there were no lawyers in Heaven. And so, to repeat, dear friends, God has passed away. The cause of death has yet to be determined. He had reportedly been suffering from a long-term illness; He was sick of people. Also, after being alive for 180 trillion years, old age may have played a part in His death. I would now ask all members of the congregation to bow their heads in a moment of silence to remember God and all His fine work. (After a moment of silence) I realize a question will have popped into many of your heads; if God really has died and He already lived in Heaven, where did He go after his death? Interestingly, the bishop has informed me that, in fact, He has returned to the physical realm to live out His life as a human for reasons known only to Him. The good news for us is that, because He is now human, we no longer have to keep capitalizing the H when we write he or his, which, even I will admit, is a bit of a pain when you’re writing a sermon because the Spell Check in Word is not programmed to capitalize those words and then you have to back over it and change it and…anyway, yes, God is now a fully-fledged human just like us and, even more interesting, the bishop informs me that he is a part of this congregation. (A murmur ripples through the congregation as members scan their neighbours) It is, alas, not clear yet whose body God has inhabited, so I would ask each of you think very hard about how you felt when you woke up this morning or did you wake up in the middle of the night feeling, I don’t know, like you could telepathically move the alarm clock across the room, things like that. I suspect that, at the end of the service when we all shake hands and say ‘Peace be With You’, one person might be a little more enthusiastic than we normally are doing this. In the meantime, today’s service is cancelled because none of the words in the hymns or the mass make any sense now that there is no God in Heaven.
On a more cheery note, the bishop informs me that once God reincarnate has been identified in our congregation, the Ladies Auxiliary will be putting on a ‘Welcome God Tea’ in the church basement at 4:30 this afternoon. Everyone is welcome to come and shake hands with God, share some tea and biscuits and get to know him or her better. Please keep in mind; of course, with his or her diminished powers as a human, he or she cannot take the kind of requests you would normally include in your daily prayers such as a new dishwasher, a reversal of balding or a better playoff run for the home team. I look forward to seeing all of you at 4:30. Also, before you leave the church this morning, don’t forget to leave cash in the offering plates. I may no longer be God’s servant on earth but I do still have bills to pay. God bless…er, have a nice day.”
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