JOKING WITH FRIENDS


On Easter Sunday, I preached a message in which I referred to The X-Files, a popular TV show from the 90’s that explored conspiracy theories and paranormal activity. In referring to angels being at the empty tomb of Jesus, I called them extra-terrestrials in the graveyard.

After the service I was visiting in a small circle of twenty-somethings. In discussion about the sermon Matt Savage said, “When you were talking about extra-terrestrials at Jesus’ tomb I kept picturing E.T. and Alf sitting in the tomb.” We all laughed at the absurdity of Matt’s humor.

For people who have an active sense of humor, joking and teasing often create camaraderie and social bonding. Laughing together creates a sense of intimacy.

Jokes have been a part of human culture since at least 1900 BC. According to research conducted by Dr. Paul McDonald of the University of Wolverhampton, a fart joke from ancient Sumer is currently believed to be the world's oldest known joke.[i]

If you encounter someone who is always serious and lacking humor, you may wonder about the bonding connection to that person. Do they accept me and can I be relaxed in conversation if they are not playful with humor? It’s risky to attempt humor with a border guard or judge in the courtroom. Humor is the shared possession of peers and families.

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