I didn’t watch THE GAME. First time in 56 years. When you’re 75, you think twice before you throw away four of your remaining hours on earth.
The next day I was a bit remorseful for missing an enthralling game, but even more remorseful for missing the zany commercials.
Ever since Super Bowl XVIII (1984), when a woman sporting red athletic shorts burst through a cavernous auditorium of colorless automatons and hurled a swinging hammer at a droning Big Brother face, I’ve watched with high expectations. None of the subsequent Super Bowl ads have surpassed that one, but some have come close: The Budweiser frogs, Cindy Crawford sipping a Pepsi.
I heard I missed some good ones this year: PopCorners Breaking Good, Workday Rockstars, and a “very touching” ad with a dog. I also heard that two ads were offensive to many, including to AOC.
The offensive ads were not for beer (which fuels liver cancer, highway deaths, and domestic violence) or for Dunkin’ Donuts (which fuels moribund obesity) or for smartphones (which contribute to social isolation, self-hatred, and suicidal thoughts among young people).
No one protested those ads.
As it turns out, the offensive ads promoted JESUS: He Gets Us. All of Us. Be childlike. Love your enemies. (Cool! What’s not to like about Jesus?) No other prophet, living or dead, got a $100 million plug at Super Bowl LVII. Jesus was clearly the MVP (Most Valued Prophet).
I found out that the organization that sponsored the ads—the Servant Foundation—has a billion dollars (millions just from Hobby Lobby) to spend on a campaign to “rebrand” Jesus.
Excuse me. Rebrand Jesus?
NEWSFLASH: Most every one knows that Jesus practiced radical compassion and hospitality, and repudiated violence.
Jesus needs no rebranding.
The church needs rebranding.
And actually, rebranding isn’t what the church needs either. It needs a reformation from the inside out.
You can rebrand cancer, but it’s still cancer.
Servant Foundation wants people to discover “the Jesus of the Bible.” How convenient! Let’s keep Jesus in the first century and out of our own, where he just might turn over the profiteers’ tables and condemn to hell those who mistreat “the least of these.”
That’s in the Bible, too.
Yes, He Gets Us. And he gets that we ain’t doing right by a lot of God’s children.
Leave Jesus out of it.
Get in the game yourself.