“Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.” This quip is attributed to businessman Robert C.Gallagher. It is clever because of the play on the word ‘change’ and because most of us have been frustrated by vending machines.
If you have explored my blog you will know that I love wordplay. Last night I had the joy of seeing Milton Jones onstage and hearing him deliver some brilliant wordplay coupled with superb comic timing. In case you are likely to go and see him on tour I won’t share any of his jokes with you at this point, although I can’t guarantee I would mention some of them in the future.
There’s actually some clever wordplay in the Bible as well. In the Old Testament when Samson vanquished his enemies armed only with a donkey’s jawbone he quipped, “With a donkey’s jawbone I have made asses of them.” (Judges 15:16) To add insult to injury (literally) he renamed the place Jawbone Hill.
Jesus renamed his impulsive and somewhat flaky disciple, calling him “Peter” which means ‘rock’. Whilst we may well affirm with the ability to see his future recorded in the book of Acts, when Jesus told him that he was the rock on which he would build his church I imagine the rest of the disciples were sniggering behind their hands. it was an ironic name on a par with Robin Hood’s larger-than-life friend Little John.
I get the feeling that sometimes when we read how God feels about us we think he is using wordplay or being ironic. Does he really think we are “beloved”? Can he really call us “friend” or even his children? Remember, this is God we’re talking about here. He has created and sustains the whole universe and yet cherishes each one of us, knowing us all by name and knowing everything about us (go on, insert your own joke here about him knowing the number of hairs on my head).
And if that was not enough, he loves us with an unquenchable and inexhaustible love. Perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible, John 3:16, tells us the depth of God’s love for us and what he has done to reconcile us to himself. To quote a famous brand of cosmetics he would say, “Because you’re worth it.”
Be blessed, be a blessing
Here are a few more puns for you:
Do bakers in the Army go into battle all buns glazing?
A friend went for a job as a gold prospector, but it didn’t pan out.
Dead batteries are free of charge.
Another friend was a monorail enthusiast: he had a one track mind.
The local Catholic church has just bought a minibus to bring people to services. they call it mass transport.
I can hear you screaming, so I will stop there.