- Pastor Paul
There is a great TV commercial for Hanes-brand t-shirts starring Michael Jordan that you might remember. It's a few years old and I haven't seen it for a while, but it used to make me chuckle every time I saw it. In the commercial, Jordan is seated on an airplane next to another passenger who points out someone else's "bacon neck"...the fact that the collar of his t-shirt doesn't lay flat like the collars (ostensibly) of Hanes t-shirts. But the element of the commercial that is so amusing is that Jordan's seat-mate seems to consider himself in the same league (pun intended) as Michael Jordan, based solely on their choice of t-shirt! In fact, at the very beginning of the commercial, as the man with bacon neck a few seats away keeps trying conspicuously to get a glimpse of the famous Michael Jordan, Michael's neighbor says something like "That guy keeps looking over here...I must have sold him carpet." This carpet salesman's assumption is that the man must be looking at him and not Michael Jordan!! Comedy gold.
Now Michael Jordan, for those of you who may not know, is still held by most fans to be one of the greatest basketball players who has ever played in the NBA. In the years since his retirement, a perennial topic is which current or up-and-coming player(s) might be "The Next Michael Jordan". Jordan was the NBA's Rookie of the Year his first year in the league. He has 6 NBA Championship rings. He was named the MVP for the entire league 5 times. He made the NBA All-Star team 14 times. He was the league's scoring champion 10 times. The list goes on and on. All of which makes it so crazy (and thereby funny!) that his seat-mate on the airplane considers himself to be in the same category as Michael Jordan, going so far as to state "You and I are a lot alike." It's a ridiculous statement which is predicated only on the fact that they wear the same brand of t-shirts. Jordan looks incredulous and says "No we're not." But this man holds his ground and insists "Yes we are."
Sometimes I wonder how often we do this same thing with Jesus. Perhaps the ultimate aim for a Christian is to be like Christ, (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 3:18). A few weeks ago, Pastor Mike preached about just this topic. (Here's a link to that sermon, in case you missed it.) But is it possible we sometimes tell ourselves that we are more like Jesus than we really are? Are we guilty of exaggerating a little? Maybe we look around at the rest of the world and at its "bacon neck", and we console ourselves that we certainly look more like Jesus than those guys! And maybe that's true, but it's hardly the standard we should be using, is it? If you were sitting next to Jesus on an airplane and said "You and I are a lot alike.", how would He reply? Would He say "You're right, my child! I'm proud of what an accurate reflection of Me you are. Well done, good and faithful servant!" Or, if you're honest, might you be devastated to see Him look at you incredulously and hear Him reply "No we're not. We might share some surface, trivial characteristics; maybe we wear the same brand of t-shirt. But I'm afraid we are very little alike, you and I." Remember, our goal is not just to avoid bacon neck...our goal is to truly be like Jesus Christ and we should settle for nothing less.
- Pastor Paul
A melting pot of musings, discussions and commentary from our 4 pastors. Jump in, the water's fine.