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November 15th, 2010

A local church has a sign in front of it, that sets my teeth on edge. The slogans they put up there are intended to be catchy. but more often, they tend to be more hopelessly misguided than pithy. And they have a tendency to play fast and loose with grammar and punctuation that makes me want to knock on the door and take possession of their apostrophes for the good of mankind.

A plural does not need a sky comma. A possessive does.

And the shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept.” I think of it frequently, when I look at this sign.

But this week, they’ve outdone themselves.

What goes up, must come down.
Like Jesus.

Not trying to be unchristian here. But you can’t just add Jesus to every sentence to improve it.

Things go better with Coke! Jesus! will work, I suppose. But this particular thing on the sign does not.

It’s kind of like the way you can add in bed to any fortune cookie.
The time is right to reach your goals in bed works pretty well.
But Name the four basic food groups in bed

Actually, that kind of works, too. And I really did get that fortune. It is top of my all time favorite cookie messages. Now that there is a food pyramid, I am nostalgic for those for basic groups.

But in the case of just add Jesus, you should make an effort to read what you are writing. What goes up, must come down is kind of like saying Pride goeth before a fall. Which is at least from the Bible. But it does not express the message you are trying to send.

And there is also the fact that, Jesus came down, and then went up. And then came down again, and went back up. So is the order on the sign even correct, or are we just starting in the middle of the story?

I am now brooding, like Tom Sizemore and Johnny Knoxville in the movie Big Trouble. “We’re arriving. But we’re departing…”

Anyway. Back to the question of what should be on the sign. Might I make some recommendations:

Yes

Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
All good things come to he who waits.
April showers bring forth May flowers.
Don’t let the turkeys get you down.
In the midst of life we are in death.
To err is human; to forgive divine.

No

Life begins at forty.
Talk softly and carry a big stick.
When the cat’s away the mice will play.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

The Da Vinci Code

Behind every great man there’s a great woman.