God’s Kingdom Was Reflected in Coke Ad

Controversy has erupted following Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Seattle Seahawks won their first NFL championship. The controversy has nothing to do with Peyton Manning’s inability to lead the Broncos to their third title, but everything to do with an ad that played during the game.

The ad in question did not feature anything vulgar. It did not promote anything too risqué for children to watch. It wasn’t even in support of a company or product that would make you uncomfortable.

The “controversial” ad was developed by Coca-Cola. In it children from various cultures sung “America the Beautiful,” while images of young children were seen playing across the screen. For some, primarily those who believe America’s borders should be closed to other nationalities and cultures, it was an offensive ad.

I find that disappointing. In fact, I find the entire controversy disappointing. Continue reading “God’s Kingdom Was Reflected in Coke Ad”

Fan or Followers: Followers Live Differently

Jesus was busy at work.

It was early in Jesus’ earthly ministry and he was traveling throughout the Galilean countryside showing the depths of God’s love through his actions. He healed the sick and those who faced diseases. He taught in the synagogues and announced God’s kingdom had arrived.

Jesus was busy at work and the people were amazed. Matthew tells us a large crowd, which included his 12 primary disciples, gathered around him wanting to know more. They had questions and knew Jesus had answers. Of all the questions they possibly had for Jesus the one they likely wanted answered was this: What does it mean to follow Jesus? The crowd wanted to know more about God’s kingdom and wanted to hear from Jesus about how to be a part of it.

So, Matthew tells us, Jesus finds a hillside near the Sea of Galilee and takes a seat. In Jesus’ time, religious teachers would sit down when they taught. It was symbolic of having authority. Jesus sits and begins teaches with authority about what it means to be apart of God’s kingdom, because he is the Word and the One who is the way to truth and life. He looks out at the crowd and says if you want to experience God’s kingdom then your life must reflect God’s character and love. Followers of Jesus, he says, are those who live differently and take on the radical, counter-cultural, and challenging life Jesus offers and allow this life to inform their actions. Continue reading “Fan or Followers: Followers Live Differently”