98.2 million people watched Super Bowl LIII, which was actually the fewest amount of viewers in 11 years, according to CNBC. Because I don’t particularly care for professional football (but I do like college football, calm down!), my attention is focused on what happens between the plays.
Companies spend millions of dollars on a 30 second advertisement ($5.25 million, to be exact!), so they will pay to get a message across. It’s one of the simplest ways to discover what our culture finds important. Since the church is in the business of reaching those same people, I think all believers should find some interest in this too.
Google’s Super Bowl 2019 commercial, entitled “100 Billion Words”, won the top spot for me. It challenges us not only to reach people, but how the power of our words connects us to other cultures and people groups. I’d love for you to watch it.
Words, without a doubt, have a special magic inside them. I love how they’re leveraged for good, and even for bad. It’s out of the hateful words that some of the most inspiring words rise up.
We’re living letters. Every time we love people without an agenda, we add a page.
– Bob Goff
Loving people without an agenda is painfully difficult for me. I get so caught up in wanting to love people into realizing that we’re working for something, not just floating around and occupying space. We have a purpose, and I don’t want people to live frivolous lives because they don’t understand that.
The tension deepens when I read Scripture (or a Bob Goff book, let’s be honest) and realize that Jesus didn’t necessarily love people with an agenda. He was the agenda. But His love was true.
We all know the “love” verses from 1 Corinthians 13, but I think most of us have heard them so often that we breeze through them. I was absolutely guilty of that, until I read the Message version of verses 13:4-7.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.
How’s that for a roadmap on love?!
I know Valentine’s Day is coming up, supposedly a day founded on love. Without crushing the holiday completely, the candy-fabricated-pink-and-red celebration is great.
But the Love that I want to become doesn’t have anything to do with cupids or roses. The Love I want to become looks a lot like a 2,000+ page book, each one with a different story on how I showed the love of Jesus to someone else, especially the people who look and sound different than me, who believe different things, who love different people, and who fight for causes that I don’t. There is no room for judgment or high horses when it comes to love.
I know that at some point my attempts will fail, but there are at least “100 Billion Words” I can use to make someone smile.
That’s a start.