Many ministers include in their sermons a joke or two that may or may not be relevant to what the sermons are about but in any case are supposed to warm up the congregation and demonstrate that preachers are just plain folks like everybody else. There are two dangers in this. One is that if the joke is a good one, the chances are it will be the only part of the sermon that anybody remembers on Monday morning. The other is that when preachers tell jokes, it is often an unconscious way of telling both their congregations and themselves that the gospel is all very well but in the last analysis not to be taken too seriously.
~originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words