Top Topics


Please join us on these social networks:

Day1 Store

Books, CDs, Videos & more

Visit The Store

The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

Buy Now

The Rev. Susan Sparks The Rev. Susan Sparks
The Rev. Susan Sparks is a former trial lawyer who now serves as senior pastor of Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York, NY.

Member of:

American Baptist Churches USA

Representative of:

Madison Avenue Baptist Church, New York, NY

World Peace -- One Joke at a Time

February 16, 2010


A Rabbi, a Muslim and a Baptist preacher walk into a room.  (Rim shot!) Yes, it's the setup for a joke, but not like you expect.  Comedian Rabbi Bob Alper, Muslim comic Azhar Usman, and myself, an ex-lawyer turned Baptist minister and standup, are taking the stage for the Laugh in Peace Tour.  The shows (many of which are fund raisers for Habitat for Humanity) are being held at Churches and Synagogues across the country, including Urban Grace Church in Tacoma, Washington, Baltimore Hebrew Congregation in Maryland and Wellshire Presbyterian Church in Denver, Colorado.

The audiences span every imaginable face:  Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists.  And for two short hours, the differences are forgotten and we all laugh together. 

In the show, Rabbi Bob Alper explains about the differences in language and culture:

"On my first visit to Jerusalem I was eager to try out my classical Hebrew. While riding in a cab I asked the driver to stop at the next corner.  He looked at me funny, then I realized what I had said was not 'let me off here,' but 'BEHOLD!  Here I descend!'"

Alternatively, Azahar Usman rifts on what it's like being Muslim in America-especially in airports.

The three of us believe that humor may be the quickest way to world peace.  Laughter allows us to see our commonalties and, in turn, appreciate our diversity. When we laugh with someone, whether it is a stranger, a friend, a lover or an enemy, our worlds overlap for a tiny, but significant moment.  It is then that defenses are lowered, ideas and feelings are shared and the best in each other gleams forth.   Only when we can laugh past our perceived superiority and righteousness, can we truly look at our neighbor with a sense of hospitality and justice.   Perhaps W.H. Auden put it best when he said, "Love your crooked neighbor with your own crooked heart."

For more information, check out:


Printer print
Comment comments

Topic Tags

No current tags

Previous Article By This Author

Click, click, click

Previous Key Voice Article

standing in the light

Next Article By This Author

Skyping with God

Next Key Voice Article

Ash Wednesday Reflections

The sermon content on this website is copyright © by the respective authors. For information on reprinting or excerpting sermon materials from this site, please contact us.