Do The Shamrock Shake

This year, I’m gonna do the Shamrock Shake.

It disappeared for a few years, but McDonald’s has put their minty green shakes back on the menu for St Patrick’s Day.

Of course, at 840 calories for a large one, it will take a lot of shaking to burn off all that sugar!

Still, I think it might be worth it. Here’s what I learned (from Wikipedia):

Once upon a time there was a young boy named Patrick. He lived in Wales in the 5th century. At the age of 16 he was captured and taken to Ireland, where he served as a slave for 6 years. Finally, he escaped and went home to his family.

Time passed. Patrick became a priest. Then a Bishop. And where did he choose to go serve?

That’s right, Ireland. He returned to the country where he had been a slave, so that he could be a servant. Wow.

There are lots of stories about St. Patrick, and we don’t know which ones are true, and which ones aren’t. There’s one where his walking stick came back to life and began to bloom. There’s another one where he banishes all the snakes from Ireland (that’s a personal favorite of mine).

Perhaps the best story about St. Patrick involves the shamrock. Patrick used the 3-leafed shamrock to illustrate the trinity: Three separate leaves representing the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Separate, but connected. Working as one.

When I think about the way God must have touched Patrick’s life, it makes me happy. When I think about how he turned around and shared the Love of God with his own persecutors, it makes me want to dance.

It makes me want to do the Shamrock Shake! Hallelujah!

So, whether you do the dance, or drink the dessert, or both, remember that God is the one who delivers us from bondage, and calls us into service.

And because of faithful disciples, like St Patrick, who devote their lives to the Church, we can say:

Welcome to Christianity…

Millions and Millions Served.

Have a great week,

Mitch

Have a Church and a Smile

Our Communications Team is looking for a new slogan for our church.  Something we can put on t-shirts and hats, something that gives people a glimpse of why church is important.   Here are a few I dug up.  See what you think:

  • “The Closest Thing To Home”
  • “Enjoy Life”
  • Church “is your kind of place”
  • “Where there’s <church> there’s hospitality”
  • “I’m lovin’ it”

You might not have recognized the first four, but I bet that last one rang a bell.   These are all slogans from McDonalds or Coca Cola from the past 100 years!

As I sat around the table at the Communications meeting last night, it dawned on me that McDonalds and Coke have stolen all the good church slogans.  “We Love To See You Smile”, “Coke adds life”,  “You deserve a break today”, “It’s the Real Thing”.   I could go on and on. So what’s the deal?  When Christians come up with slogans for their churches, are they “selling out” and acting like advertising companies?

I don’t think so.  Not at all.  In fact, the opposite is true.  Remember that great song “I’d like to Teach the World To Sing?” The first time I heard that was in church.  It wasn’t until years later that I found out it was a jingle for Coke.   What Coca Cola had done was to take all the feelings, importance, and meaning of a world in perfect harmony, and then attach them to a product — Coke!  When you see a car commercial on TV with the slogan “DRIVE = LOVE”, that’s somebody’s attempt to make you think that an automobile can make you feel love.

But that’s not true!  God is the source of Love.  We’ve been telling people that for millennia! God is the reason for hospitality and why the whole world will one day sing in harmony.  The reason churches do marketing is because we want to help people connect with the real “Real Thing”.  It’s not a misrepresentation, and it’s not a manipulation.  After all, “God” really does = “Love”.  

So we’ll keep working, looking for a few choice words that speak to what it feels like to be part of our church.   In the meantime, allow the words of this devotion to invite you to visit us for church this Sunday.

An added bonus?  This week we’re having communion!  Or as I like to call it…

Happy Meal.

Have a great week,

Mitch