Phrases that get my goat
Please step away from the phrase, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” I have a thesaurus and I know how to use it. Step away from the phrase and no one gets hurt.
I understand that “reason” and “season” rhyme, and as a person with a penchant for the odd pun or alliterative delight I, too, participate in the cheap thrill derived from pointing out this amazing rhyming serendipity. But, you know, it gets a little old, doesn’t it? It’s like the “click it or ticket” seat belt campaign, it just wears a little thin after a while. (please note that I am in favor of seat belts and Christmas, no nasty letters please).
Going just a sliver deeper into the matter, do we Jesus-followers really want to be nags? As freedom fighters and freedom writers, the petulant voice of the nag does not become us. Might we not do better to be the celebrants than the recalcitrants? Have we run this whole nagging campaign by our P.R. people? Do we want to be branded as the people whining about how bad Christmas is?
Like, what if, as George Washington stood in the prow of his boat crossing the Delaware to attack the Hessians (Washington crossed on December 26. Coincidence? I think not) had said, “Gentlemen, as you face the enemy shout at them, ‘Hessians aren’t from Hesse,’ it will totally win them over.” (Please note that I am in favor of George Washington and America, no nasty letters please).
And finally, and with this I almost conclude, I love inserting the name of Jesus into every opportunity. We are often too slow to name His name. There is no magic in His name, but it encapsulates the much longer, richer, deeper story of the God who loves us so much. So I’m jealous of mis-using that name, or, better said, of trivializing that name by slogans that don’t really contribute to the main story. Like telling the toddler that Jesus wants her to eat her broccoli. Well, it’s true, but let’s not confuse her about what Jesus really wants. It’s not about broccoli, nor is it about holidays.
Okay, here’s the real deal. I’m just pouting because I didn’t think of it. It’s so cool that “reason and “season” rhyme like that. So here’s my shot, “Thanksgiving is our thanks for the giving.” No, wait, “Thanksgiving puts the ‘hank’ in”…, no here it is, “Don’t forget your Forgiving this Thanksgiving.” I totally nailed that.