CAMPAIGN MANAGER (sitting with kitchen help at a diner outside Abilene, Texas): So what about it? Anybody got a new campaign slogan?
BUS BOY: How about this? Jesus Christ, You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down.
WAITRESS: Jesus Christ, Dead or Alive He’s Better Than the Other Guy.
COOK: Jesus Christ! More Than A Glib Expression.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Boss, you want to weigh in on this?
CAMPAIGN MANAGER (turning to Jesus): We’re kicking around some new catch phrases to help jump-start the campaign. Your slogan, “Putting Your Neighbor First,” doesn’t poll well. People think we should be putting jobs first, debt reduction second, and health care third.
JESUS: Voters are fickle, like sheep. They’ll come around.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: And if they don’t?
JESUS: Ever heard of the Gileadites?
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Bugs, right?
JESUS: They were hill people living in the mountains of Gilead. Decendents of the Gad and Reuben tribes and the eastern half of Manasseh’s offspring.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: ‘Kay, well, that was before I came on board your campaign.
JESUS: The Gileadites captured the fords of the Jordan leading to Ephraim, and whenever someone from Ephraim came to cross, the Gileadite guard asked him, “Are you an Ephraimite?” If the traveler replied, “No,” the guard said, “All right, say ‘Shibboleth.’” If he said, “Sibboleth,” because he could not pronounce the word correctly, they killed him.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: What’s your point?
JESUS: My point is, my followers are called Christians, and Christians are known for helping others… or should be. We don’t need to distinguish ourselves with catchy phrases, covert words, or clever bumper sticker theology. You want to know how we’re going to win this campaign? By being what we claim to be: transformed into the character of my Father. If Christians would just do the simple stuff like: honor their word, follow through on their promises, stop cheating their neighbor, and spend more time worshiping my Father and less time worshipping money, we’d win by a landslide and you know why? Because voters would want us to win, that’s why.
CAMPAIGN MANAGER: Not arguing with you, boss. Just saying, it’d be a whole lot easier to come up with a new slogan than to get Christians to act like you.
JESUS: Catch people with our love and our motto won’t matter.
BUS BOY: I got it! Catch Christ or Catch Hell.
JESUS (heading toward the door): I’ll be in the truck.
The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch. - Acts 11:26 (NIV)
________________Tune in next week when Jesus unveils his education initiative.