Pastor’s ponderings

Like many people in our country, last Sunday I spent the evening gathered around the TV watching the big game.  And what a game it was!  Back and forth with no idea who was going to win until the last few minutes came to a close.  Yet, I also know that many people didn’t watch the for the game itself, but instead were more interested in what else happens during those four plus hours of televised activity.  Some tuned in for the halftime show.  Others for the variety of new commercials.  There really were so many things that took place that it will most likely be remembered by many for a long, long time.

            For me, the culmination of those hours came when a particular commercial aired.  When the images on the screen began to be revealed, suddenly a quiet came over the room that I was in. People went from frenzied conversation (often boisterous excitement so loud you couldn’t hear yourself think) to utter silence as they stared and took in picture upon picture of people angry with one another, shouting at one another, preparing for utter violence with one another.  These images which seem to have become such a part of our American life in recent years, became a point of pause for those I was with.  Why were they there?  What could this possibly be a commercial for?  Why do we need to see such horrible things during our festivities? Then, after about 45 seconds of those hostile scenes, a single sentence was revealed – “Jesus loved the people we hate.”

            “WOW!” was all I could think at the time.  What a moment!  What a revelation for the world!  What a way to bring the gospel into our modern context.  Over this past week, there has been a lot of discussion about the “Jesus gets us” ads that have been aired.  Some were proud of the opportunity to get the good news of Jesus out in such a public way.  Others, however, were severely upset by them. Even some Christians have pondered whether the millions of dollars spent on the 90 seconds of airtime during the big game could have been better spent elsewhere.

            Now I’m not going to debate whether it was good stewardship or not, but what I can say, from the context in which I found myself in that moment – it made a difference.  It made people stop what they were doing and take a good hard look at what is going on in our midst.  It made people pause and consider that there is another way, a better way, a way that has already been shown to us but which we seem to have forgotten.  And, from my perspective, if a multitude of other households and viewing arenas experienced what our group did during that time, perhaps we should all be pondering how desperately it is that we need messages such as these in our current state of affairs, because obviously it made people pay attention and got them to talking about Jesus.  How might you help others understand that “Jesus gets us?”

                                                            Always pondering,

                                                            Pastor Steve

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