So they said to him (John the Baptist), "Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said." John 1:22-23
I was in my early teens when the Minneapolis-based company Burma Shave went out of business.
If you're my age or older, you remember the company. No, you may not remember the shaving cream, but you sure will remember their ads. For those of you who are younger than me, let me explain. Back in the olden days, before interstates made traveling a blur, the Burma Shave company would put up a series of little, red signs, about 100 feet apart.
There were, almost always, five of these signs. The first four carried a poem; the last had the name of the company. As you drove along the road, you couldn't resist reading those ads.
Let me give you a few examples: "Within this vale of toil and sin, your head grows bald but not your chin -- use Burma-Shave." The advertisements were filled with practical advice like, "Don't lose your head to gain a minute, you need your head your brains are in it. Burma Shave."
Sometimes, the signs had a warning like, "Brother speeders, let's rehearse, all together, good morning nurse. Burma Shave." Sometimes the ads were almost theological: "Passing cars when you can't see may give you a glimpse of eternity. Burma Shave." Here's another: "Around the corner, they went whizzin' the fault was hers, the funeral his'n. Burma Shave."
Now, Daily Devotion readers may wonder why I mention these advertisements. It's not to give them a plug. They went out of business in the early 60s. I'm sharing because I want you to realize those ads from a defunct company and an extinct product have stayed with me almost 40 years. Those ads were a powerful thing. Good ads usually are.
Good ads like us should be powerful things.
When you think about it, John the Baptist was the Lord's handpicked advertisement for the Savior. His entire ministry, in one way or another, pointed people to the Christ.
When Jesus ascended into heaven, He told us to go, teach, preach, baptize. It was His way of telling us to be advertisements to Him and what He had done so that we might be saved.
It was noble work He entrusted to us, a work that will never end or close up shop.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, each of us has many things to do and many hats to wear. Help us remember that along with the other things we do, we should always be pointing people to Your Son, who gave His life so we might have life. This we ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries