Around where I live Mercedes Benz has commercials with the tagline “The best or nothing.” This example is a couple years old, but it captures the spirit of the commercial I saw last night. Whenever I see it, it leaves me thinking. I think about the people in the community in which I live at whom this commercial is targeted. Those whom others view as the best who can afford a Mercedes or most anything else they might want. I also think about those who are always measuring themselves against whatever they perceive as the best, but who, for whatever reason, always fall short of their own internal expectations. At some level, do they think of themselves as a failure? As nothing? I also think about all those others. Most of the people. Those who work hard and do their best, but who others would never even consider them to be anywhere near the category of the best. And, also about those who cannot even afford middle class let alone the best. I wonder what their takeaway is when they see this commercial and hear repeated over and over the best or nothing? And, being the pastor and preacher I am I wonder what the Gospel response to all these might be.
And, then there is this commercial by Marriott with the tagline We live by the #GoldenRule.
I wonder how is it that a hotel chain has co-opted one of the central tenets of Christianity and a teaching found in most major religions. Looking around, I think their commercials are doing a better job teaching the meaning of the Golden Rule than many churches. At least the way churches and Christianity are depicted and perceived in our culture. And I wonder, what the Gospel response is to those of us claim the label Christian and do our best to follow in the way and in the spirit of Jesus.