Jimmy Fallon is the newest “Tonight Show” host, stepping into the spot previously filled by comedians such as Steve Allen, Johnny Carson and Jay Leno. Each host has had his own favorite bits, and for Fallon it is The Thank-You Note.

At least once a week, Fallon sits at his TV desk and writes thank-you notes, which really are satirical observations of some of life’s oddities. Among some of the best ones he has done so far:
• Thank you, self-help books, for making me do all the work.
• Thank you, moss, for being toupees for rocks.
• Thank you, new study that found that people aren’t naturally good at math. It’s like I’ve always said, math is 50 percent hard work and 60 percent luck.
• Thank you, oatmeal, for looking like I already ate you before I eat you.
• Thank you, pita bread, for being a great combination between wheat and envelopes.
• Thank you, airplane seat by the bathroom, for letting me pay $400 to live temporarily next to an outhouse.
• Thank you, confetti, for being the most fun and colorful way to litter.
• Thank you, hard taco shells, for surviving the journey from factory to supermarket to my plate, and then breaking the moment I put something inside you.

It occurs to me that we preachers have plenty of opportunities to write similar thank-you notes. For example:
• Thank you, pastor search committee, for describing this church in glowing (though not accurate) terms.
• Thank you, music leader, for taking up 10 minutes of my sermon time last Sunday by offering your own mini-sermons between songs, and (worse) they were better than mine.
• Thank you, blue-haired ladies, for reminding me each week how much of a saint your previous pastor was.
• Thank you, TV preachers, for demonstrating to my elders on a regular basis how it should be done as compared to how I am doing it.
• Thank you, Walmart, for being the place my shut-ins manage to get to three times a week though they no longer are able to get to church.
• Thank you, finance committee, for giving me a 1 percent salary increase—paid for by adding miscellaneous janitorial duties to my job description.
• Thank you, new organist, for that rousing rendition of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida during our homecoming service.
• Thank you, pastor of the church down the street, for wearing one of those “I’m with Stupid” T-shirts when I was standing next to you at the community picnic.
• Thank you, nursery kid, for managing to spit up on your pastor right before the service when another pastor search committee was coming to visit.
• Thank you, deacons, for your get-well card while I was in the hospital, especially after I heard you voted 8-5 in favor of sending it.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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