Does God do Product Placement?

What would it be like to go a day without seeing a logo? Would it be weird to live in a place without commercials, sales pitches, billboards? I’ve heard that in Cuba public advertising is illegal, but I admit that, as an American, this is hard for me to imagine.

They say that death and taxes are the two guarantees in life. But advertising comes in a close third. In the United States, it’s hard to go five minutes without being exposed to a commercial message of some kind. Whether on a billboard beside the highway, a glowing square on a website, or the back of your box of cereal in the morning, we are constantly being pitched something.

The most powerful ads just blend into the landscape of our daily lives, like product placement in a movie. Take a look around you right now. I’ll bet you can identify three logos without even getting up from your seat. There they are, gently whispering into your subconscious.

Ads and logos have become such a constant, they no longer merely sell a product. They’ve come to represent an image, a mood, a way of life. The most profoundly successful ads transcend the company-customer binary. We merge. Day after day, our eyes drink them in. These logos become part of us, and we part of them.

How many times do you need to be exposed to a message before you even notice it’s there? How many more exposures before you consciously respond? And how many more times must you come in contact with a sign, a symbol, a message, before it fades once again into the background – but this time, as a constant, a given, a taken-for-granted part of your everyday worldview?

Ask Coca-Cola. They’ve been working on this question for generations.

But what happens when we come to believe that there is more to life than buying and selling, producing and consuming, chasing after personal happiness and comparing ourselves to others? A tension emerges in our lives, a nagging doubt that had always remained safely in the background. We awaken to an invisible struggle.

Before we know it, we are enlisted in a battle between our culture’s godlike images – all the logos and advertisements – and the hidden, alternative power of the divine Logos that is rising up within our hearts. We are invited to choose substance over shadows, the moon itself rather than pointing fingers.

And something still more marvelous: We discover that we, ourselves, are becoming God’s logo.

We always have been. This is what we are created for. To reflect the image, life, and dynamic power of the sovereign Creator of the cosmos. We are made to become a ubiquitous sign of the Spirit that saturates the whole world with the light and love of Christ. When we dwell in the settled joy and peace of Jesus, we become an inescapable logo, ingraining the gospel into the existence of those around us.

This life of faithfulness rarely offers quick results, but we shouldn’t expect that. That’s not how God’s Marketing works. We have a cumulative effect. Our lives exert influence on everyone around us. Slowly. Day by day. Like any good logo, our faithful lives have impact through repeat exposure.

What does it look like for you to live as a sign of hope in a struggling world? How does your life bear the image of the Creator? Are you ready to be God’s logo?

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