Disciples, Apostles, and Saints!
If you watched the Super Bowl last Sunday, you may have seen an advertisement for Jesus. At a time when we’re inundated with ads for beer, celebrity cameos, or feel-good ads for soap, it was pretty odd to see an ad about…humanity, division, and suffering. One that wraps with the suggestion that Jesus gets us.
There was something odd to seeing the ad. And there was something odd in seeing the response from people.
Many appreciated the moment for its contrast with consumerism. Or thought the message was a great sermon. While others suggested that Christians shouldn’t spend $20 million on one advertisement. Or pointed to the people who funded the ad: individuals and groups who have supported public and private policies which harm minority groups.
The ad did get a lot of people talking. And, I suspect, a lot more thinking.
I myself am ambivalent. For more reasons than this space affords. But what I wanted to share with you is this: it felt like half the sermon. Like Good Friday without Easter. Because the hope of Christ doesn’t simply bring the end of division or suffering. It brings liberation.
Our problem is not only that people are angry. Jesus reminds us that justice and peace are necessarily intertwined. Which means we need more than an end to division.