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I wanted to do a little test this morning. I am going to show you an image. I want you to see if you can identify the company that goes with each of these images. Now don’t blurt them out. I will ask you to raise your hands if you know what business the images represent. Then I will ask you to not only tell me what the image is, but what type of business each promotes. Are you ready? Okay.
The Logos I show will be from: Bank of America, Starbucks, Mac, Wendy’s and Planters Peanuts
Now, If you knew what a majority of these images are then you are branded. This means that these companies have succeeded in getting you to completely identify their product or business with these simple logos. So, anytime that you see these images your brain immediately thinks of their products.
It is one thing to immediately identify a brand, it is altogether another thing to have brand loyalty. This not only shows a consumer’s repurchasing of a particular brand, but also their advocacy of that brand. At first we may say that is stupid, but I think we do this all the time unconsciously. I’ve seen people almost kill other people before they purchase their Starbucks coffee. You could tell them that Starbucks kills puppies and they would defend their morning brew.
In our hyper-consumer society there are many items that we find ourselves tied to. I am sure that if we looked in our frig, our closet medicine cabinets and our garages we would be surprised at how many products we depend upon. I don’t know about you but I am over committed. I have a cell phone that tells me my missed calls, my missed emails, my calendar and my shopping list. Now I find myself even committed to the products that we purchase.
When I slow down and listen to the still small voice I sometimes hear this thing that Jesus keep repeating on the shoreline. “Do you love me?” “Then feed my sheep.”
He keeps repeating it, just to make sure that Peter understands. There will be no billboards, there will be no flashing neon signs, and there will be no reminder on my phone messages. The only reminder to follow Jesus will be the people with whom I am surrounded.
There is Christ calling me to one more commitment! It is a commitment that demands more of my time! It is a commitment that demands being above all other commitments! That is love for others. I may not have the perfect faith in God, I may not believe enough of the Bible to qualify me for sainthood, I may not even pass the test for being orthodox, but one thing I do know is that if I fail at showing love nothing else matters.
So, love your neighbor and yourself, show all the loving attributes of I Corinthians 13 when they read it at a wedding and above all love one another as Christ loved us. Christ reminded us that the whole law was contained in practicing love. So, no matter where you are in life, no matter how secure you are in your faith, no matter how apathetic you think you are, if you begin with love you are already on your way.
Thanks to Christi Bowman for helping me with this sermon.
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