Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Coke and a Smile

Do you remember this slogan from years gone by - "Have a coke and a smile, makes me feel good..."? It was connected to that famous commercial, "Hey, kid, catch!" - which aired in 1979 and featured Pittsburgh Steelers' star "Mean" Joe Greene throwing his sweaty, game-used jersey to a kid who gives him an ice-cold coke on the way to the locker room. This was considered at the time one of the best commercials of the year, and anyone from that era who saw it has that image fresh in their minds of the power of Coca-Cola and its association with childhood dreams.

There have been other slogans since 1886 - here are a few:
1886 - Drink Coca-Cola.
1906 - The great national temperance beverage.
1908 - Good til the last drop
1923 - Enjoy life.
1937 - America's favorite moment.
1939 - Coca-Cola has the taste thirst goes for.
1945 - Passport to refreshment.
1948 - Where there's Coke there's hospitality.
1958 - The Cold, Crisp Taste of Coke.
1963 - Things go better with Coke.
1969 - It's the real thing.
1971 - I'd like to buy the world a Coke. (Basis for the song "I'd like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony").
1976 - Coke adds life.
1981 - Coke is it!
1989 - Can't Beat the Feeling.
1991 - Can't Beat the Real Thing. (for Coca-Cola Classic)
1993 - Always Coca-Cola.
1999 - Enjoy
2001 - Life tastes good.
2007 - Live on the Coke Side of Life
2011 - Life Begins Here

There are dozens more, and this only comprises slogans used in the U.S. The Coke company has invented slogans over the years that go with each culture and language. It has made the drink widely popular around the globe. And Coke is just one company. In 2014, these eight countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the UK and the US) will spend over 300 billion dollars buying soft drinks. America is responsible for about 80 billion of that total.

Now for one more statistic: The United States as a whole this year will spend roughly 2 billion dollars in the effort to spread Christianity to the world. This number includes all religious groups who are considered within our culture's realm of Christendom.

There is nothing wrong with drinking soft drinks. This is not the point.

But my questions are, "What is really refreshing?" "What really tastes good?" "What can't beat the feeling?" "What is IT?" "What adds life?"

Is it not the good news of Jesus Christ? Maybe we should spend more time buying and drinking and sharing the gospel.

"Jesus answered and said to her, 'Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.' The woman said to Him, 'Sir, give me this water'..." ~ John 4:13-15.

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