I saw a mug at Goodwill with a picture of Jesus on it. In big, bold letters was captioned “Jesus Saves.” In Jesus’ left hand was a pair of scissors; in His right, a fistful of coupons. Gives a whole new meaning to some of the old hymns.

“I Know not Why God’s Wondrous Grace” on buying a used car

Chorus line: “For I know whom I have believed in and am persuaded that He is [A]ble.”

You had best be certain of the name of the person in whom you have believed. What do you mean you’re ‘persuaded’? As in you believed in someone without knowing their name, and then you got evidence to convince you of their name? Can anyone say solid target for a con job? Just persuade this person you are “Able,” and you can take whatever the fuck you want.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re thinking. But wha’ ‘bout e’ry day shoppin’, hmm?

Appropriately placed in the middle-beginning of this piece, the coup de grâce:

“We Have Heard the Joyful Sound” on competitive speed shopping

Here’s the first stanza in its entirety.

            We have heard the joyful sound:

            Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

            Spread the tidings all around:

            Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

            Bear the news to every land,

            Climb the steeps and cross the waves;

            Onward!—‘tis our Lord’s command;

            Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Let’s unpack this line-by-line.

“We have heard the joyful sound.”

This refers to the opening bull horn that signals power shoppers to cross the starting line and pull things off the shelves, like wolves snapping at a fresh buffalo kill, before 60-second deals expire. Veteran power shoppers feel a special joy when they hear this sound. It opens their souls to achieve their true purpose of saving as much green in as little time as possible.

“Jesus saves!”

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is, of course, the paragon of savings achievement—the Man made His own furniture, for Christ’s sake—and, thus, He is held up in this two-word line as both apex goal and world record-holder.

“Jesus saves!”

Repetition is a proven pedagogical method. If you weren’t paying attention before, you are now. Jesus is your role-model.

But exactly how is He your role-model? How do His actions help you conserve green in this modern world of inflation, of being forced to accept rising prices for the same standard of goods?

“Spread the tidings all around.”

While this might seem to be encouraging you to convince other would-be competitive shoppers to join the throng, it’s actually sarcastic, because you can only achieve as much savings as are available to you. If too many sharks enter the waters, you get warm chum tea instead of hearty jambalaya.

“Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”

Another reminder to follow Jesus’ example. You didn’t see him entertaining gods from other universes, did you? That’s because Jesus knew how to work the field by limiting competition. If you thought the Marvel Cinematic Universe was ahead of its time, Jesus was way earlier.

“Bear the news to every land.”

Meaning to your best buddies. Gotta keep the field small, remember.

“Climb the steeps and cross the waves.”

Jesus was again ahead of His time by creating an early Urban Dictionary entry of “steeps” for hills or mountains or any topographical rise, and referring to the first-ever wave pool—the walls of the Red Sea crashing back down once the Israelites had passed through.

“Onward!—‘tis our Lord’s command.”

Don’t be discouraged if you fall off, tumble down, or tire on the way up a steep, or are crushed when millions of pounds of falling water press you into the sea bed and turn you into an instant fossil. Deals are your Dunkirk, your way of proving your worth in this world and your value to future generations.

“Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”

Double exhortation. You should have expected it.

Deals are destiny. The next time you feel yourself capitulating toward a used car salesman whose name you can barely recall, or you feel your selfishness resolve corroding toward a spreading around of the savings instead of maximizing them for yourself, think about what Jesus does.

Jesus saves.