Dear Hyde Park Family,

Like many of you, I will be watching the Super Bowl this Sunday, with more interest in the commercials than in the game itself. I have already viewed many of them online, taking a special interest in one for Coca-Cola. It’s called “A Coke is a Coke,” and will run right before the National Anthem.

The ad is inspired by the work of Andy Warhol, both in its artistic treatment and in his philosophy. In his 1975 book “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol,” he writes:

“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know the president drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too. A Coke is a Coke, and no amount of money can get you a better Coke.”

So, the ad, which you can watch here, contains this narration:

“A Coke is a Coke is a Coke. It’s the same for everyone. You can get one if you want it no matter where you’re from. He drinks Coke and she drinks Coke even though they disagree. And while the bottles look alike, you aren’t the same as me. Stars drink it. Chefs drink it. Farmers want one when it’s hot. There’s a Coke here if you’re thirsty, but that’s cool if you’re not. We all have different hearts and hands, heads holding various views. Don’t you see: different is beautiful and together is beautiful, too.”

TOGETHER IS BEAUTIFUL

Once again, the national ad agencies seem to do a better job marketing their product than churches are in sharing the gospel. Nothing against Coca-Cola, but Christians have something even better to offer the world. The love of God is the same for anyone, available to all of us in equal measure, regardless of merit or lot in life. And in a world where we would rather compartmentalize each other by our differences, the love of God calls us together. 

The love of God compels us to go deeper in our commitments to Christ, to widen our outreach and invitation beyond the walls that divide us, and to unite together in common heart and purpose. Those are the key elements of the vision plan, which we unanimously adopted at last month’s congregation-wide church conference, and helps set the course for the bright future God has for and through this church.

Yes, different is beautiful, and together is beautiful, too.

FORWARD TOGETHER

In that spirit, starting this Sunday, we begin a four-part series called “Forward Together,” in which we will be inspired to go deeper and wider together, drawing wisdom from the Scripture and connecting to each of the main areas of focus of our vision plan.

Here’s how our Communications Team, whom I would choose over any national ad agency, describes our new series:

We can’t predict the future, but we can’t avoid it, either. Life moves forward, whether we like it or not. What we can control, however, is how we live into that future. Will we live by faith, or out of fear? Will we live that faith deeply, or just on the surface? Will we seek love for ourselves, or will we widen God’s love for others? And will we move forward together? Join us for this important series as we discover what God’s call means for our lives and the future of Hyde Park.

Now, that’s a product I would gladly buy!

Grace and Peace,

Magrey

Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist

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