“I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke…”
Go therefore, and teach ALL nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son (Jesus Christ), and of the Holy Ghost…Matthew 28:19
The year…1971. I was fourteen years old when the Coca-Cola Bottling Company launch a brilliant campaign enlightening all Americans that we were not the only ones on the planet who enjoyed drinking the Atlanta-based soda that we referred to as the “real thing!” For those of us who are fifty-years-old (and older!), we can remember walking around humming the catchy tune…”I’d like to buy the world a Coke…It’s the real thing, in the back of your mind, what you’re hoping to find; it’s the real thing…Coke.”
Over the next several decades, with added technologies, we would all become familiar with terms such as, “Global Society,” and “Global Markets.” An unfamiliar, new concept for a young girl growing up in a rural southern town where the majority of people knew one another, attended the same high school, and for many the same churches. Our very own little “niche” on planet Earth.
But, that has all changed in my life time. Life is all about change…Many of the town’s original buildings remain standing and many of its citizens and their families still live close by, but it’s not the small, simple town that it once used to be with its ONE caution light and ONE Dairy Queen! Like most ONCE smaller towns, we now have four-lane highways surrounding the city with a Home Depot Store, Wal-Mart, and a larger variety of restaurants. We no longer have a “need” to “drive into town” on Saturday mornings to do our shopping…a wealth of shops are all around us!! Now-a-days, one can drive the town’s entire city-limits and never see a familiar face…The “world” came to our door-steps!
There was also a time when churches sent out missionaries all over the world to foreign, unknown places to preach and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thankfully, many still do. But, America is now a much more blended society made up of many different nationalities, cultures, and beliefs than it was in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s…So, let me ask you a question? As Christians, believers in Jesus Christ, have we done our part here at home to reach our nation’s many families for Jesus Christ? Or, have we simply adopted the philosophy to “back-off” and tell ourselves and one another, “Well, to each his own.” I fear the latter.
How is it that we are willing to put money into the offering plate to send a missionary to China, but unwilling to walk across the street to share the Gospel with our neighbor? We need to do more than “buy the world a Coke.” We need to tell them about Jesus! Does the scripture, “Go, ye therefore, and teach all nations,” have a mileage limit on it? I mean does the word, “Go,” mean to “go” more than ten miles, one-hundred miles, or a thousand miles away?” Or, can it also mean…”Go to the post office; Go to the bank, Go to the super-market, or Go to the neighbor across the street.” You decide…
I guess this has been bothering me lately. In the 70’s when my husband and I bought our first home, I invited nearly every neighbor in our subdivision at one time or another to church. Over the eighteen years that we lived there, we saw several of our neighbors get saved (born-again), baptized, and join various churches. I’m not saying that “I” was the only source of encouragement they had to start attending church, but I do know that our family was a witness to our neighbors as they saw us faithfully get into our vehicle every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday to go to the House of the Lord. They saw that we were “dedicated” to a “cause” that was bigger than ourselves! God!
But, honestly, we have been living at our current residency for the past ten years, and I haven’t witnessed to very many of my neighbors about Jesus; like I once did. Truth be known, I hardly know the names of those who live right around me! Yes; our current neighbors see my husband and I attend church each Sunday and Wednesday, but I don’t think they pay a whole lot attention to us! We don’t have little children running through the neighborhood, riding their bikes up and down the street, or attending nearby schools. We are now older adults with adult children…Of course, we do enjoy when our adult children and grandchildren visit…and later go home! LOL!
Nevertheless, just like Coca-cola wanted to “buy the world a Coke” back in the 70’s, we need to be reminded that the “world” still needs to hear about Jesus; and that the world first includes our families and neighbors! Maybe, if we, as Christians, started witnessing to our neighbors and neighborhoods once again (like we used to!), we’d start seeing more people accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. The world is at our finger-tips…what are we waiting on?
Instead of just sharing a “Coke” with the world….Let’s share “Jesus Christ.”
My version of the Coke’s song: “I’d like to tell the world of God, and how he saved my soul…I’d like to tell both far and near, that Jesus loves us all…He’s the real thing….He’s God’s Only Son… He’s the only ONE…He’s the real thing!”
I have to admit…that’s kinda cute…LOL!
Remember God Loves You and Enjoy Witnessing to Someone today!
Lin T. Rollins, Author