Toyota and T-Mobile

Terry Walton



I Was Thinking…

I enjoyed the Super Bowl!  It would have been better if the Falcons had returned and won…but nonetheless, it was great competition.  Congratulations Eagle fans!

I thought the ‘Tide’ commercials were the best thematic advertisements.  Every bright white shirt, dress, slacks, and other clothing that I see this week might take me back to those ‘Tide’ ads.  That is good associative advertising. 

A Toyota advertisement caught my attention.  Perhaps you saw it.  I was inspired by their efforts.  A Jewish Rabbi, a Catholic Priest, a Muslim Imam and a Buddhist Monk leave their houses of worship and pile into a Toyota Tundra headed to the football game only to be chastised by a couple of nuns for arriving late.  The relationship between these religious leaders is obviously deep and football fun is shared together.  They find common ground for loving, respecting and enjoying each other.

A T-Mobile commercial illustrates nine infants of different races and nationalities and speaks of equality among all people.  The narrator proclaims “You come in with open minds that are equal.  Some people may see your differences and may be threatened by them, but you are unstoppable.  You will love who you want.  You will demand fair and equal pay and you will not allow where you come from dictate where you are going.”  I was touched by their effort to shed light on a conversation that is and should be happening all across this country and world.

I was glad to see deeper meanings being explored through some of the ‘famous’ Super Bowl Ads.  But in some ways it saddened me.  Have we, the church, abdicated some of our responsibility to the world?  Shouldn’t we be the loudest voice that is crying out for equality?  Shouldn’t we be on the mountain tops proclaiming religious tolerance?  I worry that sometimes we have misunderstood Jesus’ words read from the Prophet Isaiah to proclaim “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)

I worry we think this means everybody has to believe exactly the same way we believe.  I worry that we think reaching the world means not only are we to ‘catch fish’ (fishers of people) but that we must clean them the way we think they ought to be cleaned as well.  I worry we think our job is to protect the faith rather than share the faith leaving the results to God.  I worry that the most segregated hour in the week remains to be our hour of worship in most of our churches every Sunday morning.

At times I see the world ‘getting it’…and the church being slow to learn…and in the meantime we are losing an opportunity to reach a generation of young adults who are ready to accept each other whether the church accepts them or not.

Lord, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.  Help us Lord to learn from Toyota and T-Mobile.
Always Thinking…

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