I hadn’t realized how bad the economy had gotten until I saw a headline from the newspaper from my old hometown in Pennsylvania announcing that a local resident had discovered an image of Jesus on his morning toast. This came hot on the heels of an apparition of Mary on a hospital window in Springfield, MA, and the $28,000 e-bay sale of a toasted cheese sandwich of the Virgin.

I must admit that my initial thought was that Cretins for Christ was rallying in the Northeast. After all, if you’re the Creator of all that is, couldn’t you do better than a slice of Wonder Bread? If you were God and wanted to get people’s attention, wouldn’t you do something cool like write across the sky in fiery letters? Or maybe drag out a golden oldie from the Old Testament and part a major water mass, send a flood, or smite an entire city? Jesus on toast? As a friend of mine observed, it sounds like a swear. Assume a faux Irish accent and let it rip—Jaaay-zuss on toast!!!!

But I realized I was being uncharitable. God is like the rest of us and needs to tighten the budget in these hard economic times. Fiery letters are all fine and good when you’re flush, but as many cities discovered last July 4, fireworks are an expensive luxury during a recession. By contrast, a loaf of Wonder Bread is just three bucks; the responsible thing to do is choose the cheaper option. Even the hospital window is fairly extravagant by contrast—a new window can set up back a couple of hundred dollars. But one must applaud God for giving us a sign of how to be thrifty until the economy perks up.

I hear there are new cut-rate revelations on the horizon—holy text messages, Moses on a Spam can, a prophecy website….. Until further notice burning bushes—at about 50 dollars per plant—are out; look for personal appearances in cigarette lighter flames. The Ten Commandments will be weaned down to just three; water will be changed into a cheaper Taylor vintage, and forty-three cents each is a lot for stamps, so look for handbills announcing upcoming meetings of Cretins for Christ.--LV

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