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By Rev. Susan Brims, East District Missional Strategist & Superintendent

“Did you notice,” a friend asked, “did you notice the commercials running during the Olympics?”  My friend went on to explain what she likes about those commercials. It almost doesn’t matter that they are longer than average commercials. They are often inspiring – telling stories, sharing dreams, giving thanks to the people who made an athlete’s quest for the gold possible. Here is a link for you to check out some commercials for yourself:  https://philstarlife.com/geeky/667516-inspiring-and-moving-olympics-commercials-through-the-years .

What I notice in many of the commercials is that they tend to lift up certain ideals in life like persistence – gratitude – good sportsmanship – dreaming – and so much more. I enjoy these commercials so much more than the negative, create division type of ads we often see during political campaigns.

Olympic season ads make me wonder what would happen in our world if people worked hard to encourage others to live the higher ideals in life? Would it cause us to treat one another with more grace, more respect, more equity? What would it be like if we, as disciples of Christ, led in such a way that inspired people to live the higher ideals in life? My mind wandered to some verses in the Bible:

Hebrews 10:24-25 – 24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Philippians 2:3-5 – Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…

If you were asked, what are the three highest ideals in a Christian’s life, what would you say in response to that question? Go ahead, list them here:

1.
2.
3.

If these are the three highest ideals that you name, the next question is how are you “provoking one another” to live those ideals daily? How are you living these ideals daily?

The Desert Southwest Conference adopted a vision statement that lifts up the ideals that we hope will inspire people to live in a way that infuses the world with love and good deeds, in a way that calls us to “not look to our own interest, but to the interest of others.” Our vision statement is this: (I know you all remember)

God calls us to be a courageous church:
loving like Jesus, acting for Justice, united in hope.

Every day we have the opportunity to live the ideals we claim in our vision statement. Every day we are called to make choices that reflect just how those ideals become reality in our communities.

I have a challenge for you:  Create a “video commercial.”  Here are the rules:

  1. No more than 3 minutes long,
  2. Reflect the unique context of how your faith community lives the higher ideals of our faith,
  3. The commercial cannot be a “this is what we do” commercial. Focus on being inspirational.

Send your commercials to me and they will be posted for all of us to be inspired by. With all the video skills learned during the pandemic, I do believe many of you are now more than capable of creating an inspirational commercial, so …

Let the games begin!

Your sister on the journey,
Susan

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