Selling The Invaluable With the Replaceable

WORDS FROM W.W                                                                         February 2, 2015

                               

There were some really good commercials during the Super Bowl. Loved the tortoise and hare redo by Mercedes. The bouncing blue pill commercial sponsored by Fiat that was creative. The muscle-bound Skittles ad was a hoot as well!

Then there were the ads that tried to sell invaluable experiences and qualities, but would put their product or company as the face of that experience. Four that stood out to me were the Coca-Cola ad where an accidentally spilled Coke into a computer network changed hate into love around the world. Let’s be honest! I like a Coke with a hamburger or popcorn, but Coke is a drink high in sugar that has more negative effects than positive attributes. A Coke late at night will have the result of blessing me with a sleepless night, and when I’m short on sleep I’m grumpy. “A loving person” does not fit my demeanor at those times.

Another ad featured McDonald’s promoting the idea of kind acts and loving behavior. I’m fine with random acts of kindness and letting people know you love them, but McDonald’s does not impress me as Dr. Phil with golden arches. In case you missed it, when you go to a McDonald’s and purchase something there will be random selections where the customer will receive his/her order free if he does a certain act of kindness like call his mom and tell her he loves her. It’s sweet, and I suppose since Mickey D’s can’t promote many examples of a healthy diet a few words of appreciation must atone for the cholesterol hike.

There was a third commercial that could have been sponsored by Promise Keepers. It promoted fatherhood all through the ad with various scenes of dads with their kids. I was expecting Bill McCartney to come on at the end, but instead…Dove for Men was the sponsor. Nice smelling men must make better fathers!

Finally, there was the car company that promoted fatherhood, ironically through a dad who was a professional race car driver…and gone most of the time. But at the end of the commercial he drives up to his son’s school in a new Nissan and all seems well. Amazing how a new car can atone for a dad who is gone most of the time.

Love, happiness, being awesome dads…all good things, but not found in a shampoo bottle, a hamburger wrapper, or a shiny new car with a huge monthly payment. But I’m sure a lot of people bought into it. After all, that’s why companies spend millions of dollars advertising at Super Bowls.

As a pastor I have to take it to my arena! As churches are we sometimes guilty of trying to sell the gospel instead of proclaiming it? There’s a difference. The cross and the events of the crucifixion are hard to sell. They are excruciatingly painful and agonizing. When we try to sell the gospel the cross is rarely mentioned. It’s like the black sheep of the family that no one wants to talk about.

When we proclaim the gospel we tell the story of the love of God that took Jesus to his death, and brought Jesus from the tomb. There’s joy at the end of the story, but pain and suffering is the dominant element of the chapter.

Like “Dove For Men” sometimes churches try to sell the idea that if you come to this place you’ll be better dads. Whereas that sometimes happens, it seems that the church should promote the idea that it will come alongside you on your journey…the low points and the high points; that the church of Jesus consists of broken who recognize that we’re fractured and seeking to be healed and whole.

Let’s be honest! That’s the truth, but there isn’t much shine to it.

Explore posts in the same categories: Bible, children, Christianity, Community, Faith, Grace, Jesus, love, Parenting, Pastor, Story, The Church, Uncategorized

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