I’ve noticed that the more formal the situation, the funnier mistakes become. For example, babies burp all the time but that isn’t usually a laughing matter. But it was in one situation that I witnessed.
At a church in Edmonton which I attended a dozen or more years ago, the pastor asked a rhetorical question during his sermon. In the silence that followed, a baby belched. “That’s quite the amen,” the minister joked as the congregation roared with laughter. He struggled mightily as he held in a giggle. After a minute, he resumed his sermon.
I used to attend a house church a few decades ago. One of their practices was to let congregants stand in front of the members and give a word from the Lord. I was about to launch into my exhortation when Sister Roberta crept up to me and whispered, “Your zipper is undone.” I blushed as I turned around and zipped it up. Though I spoke what was on my heart, I thought about how I came all the way to the church on the bus with my fly undone.
An embarrassing incident happened to my sister once During a sermon at a Lutheran church. I thought at first that I heard an airplane. Then I realized that it sounded to “thin” to be an aircraft. As I turned my head to find the sound, I realized it was Diane’s stomach growling. She had neglected to eat breakfast before we left for church. As the reverend droned on, I held my lips together to hold in the guffaw that desperately tried to escape. As I leaned forward in the pew to hide my face, a few snorts escaped from my nostrils. I managed to get myself under control after a few minutes but the damage, for my sister at least, was done. Diane complained bitterly about the incident afterward and swore never to go to church without eating breakfast again.
Weddings aren’t immune to hilarious goofs either. Jay, one of the house church members, answered the questions confidently and made no mistakes until the minister mentioned the word “troth.” Poor Jay became confused and asked what that meant. The whole congregation burst out laughing as he blushed.
I just published a memoir of my time in that house church called How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity. Read more about this testimony of God’s amazing grace at the Virtual Bookworm site.