I can’t believe it! I had family visiting from out of town last week and so things were a bit busy – but I actually missed it! I actually missed the celebration of National Punctuation Day – which was this past Saturday, September 24th. (Did I use that comma properly?)
The National Punctuation Day folks even have a website (www.nationalpunctuationday.com) that allows you to get all the proper rules for using a colon, semicolon, period, question mark, and other common types of punctuation including what they call the “ever-mysterious ellipsis.” Now this is exciting stuff!
They would probably not be very happy with me – you see I tend to overuse the em dash – using it when I should probably use a comma or even a semi-comma or maybe even a period.
Lest you think all of this is unimportant, an extra comma in a sentence in the contract of a Canadian company ended up costing that company more than $2.13 million. Several years ago the University of Wisconsin-Madison sports department found themselves in a bit of a pickle when they twitted out a quick message to its fans that left out an important comma. It read “If you’ve got some time to kill #Badger fans…” I know that college football can be rather competitive, but this seems to go a bit too far, don’t you think!!
In his final instructions in the fourth chapter of Colossians, Paul writes these words: “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Colossians 4:2-6)
We need to be aware, Paul is saying, of the way we speak so that we may proclaim the gospel and its truths clearly and without confusion. He calls on us to speak gracefully – but seasoned in such a way that there is no doubt what we are saying – so that we can effectively answer the questions of those around us – to the glory of God.
May God open doors for each of us – to clearly proclaim the wonders of His kingdom – and to bring glory to His Name.