And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, "These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also." Acts 17:6
There are approximately 13,000 McDonald's restaurants in North America. That's a lot of restaurants.
I can remember when it was in March of 1956 McDonald's advertised, "5 Million Sold." I also recall how on April 15, 1994, McDonald's made it over the 99 billion-burger milestone. That's when McDonald's stopped updating their signage. That's why they simply say, "Billions and Billions sold." Still, that's a lot of burgers, fries and Cokes. It's a lot of, well, it's a lot of everything.
Truly, McDonald's has had an impact on society in general and most of us as individuals. That impact is measured by the fact that if I start out, "Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun," you were able to join in. If I ask you the name of the clown who has for 50 years been a spokesman for McDonald's, you know it's Ronald.
Now the purpose of all this is not just to make you hungry.
It is to make you think.
And what shall you think about? Think about this: according to David Kinnaman, who works for The Barna Group, for every McDonald's in America, there are approximately 19 churches. That's right, 19 churches for every McDonald's restaurant. Wow! And if McDonald's has impacted community and culture, shouldn't churches be able to do the same and more?
Yes, they should, and they have. Ask yourself how many souls has the Holy Spirit reached through His work? How many Baptisms? How many Communions? How many funeral messages of comfort have been offered?
Let's continue. In all of those churches, how many times has a stranger been introduced to Jesus? How many sins have been forgiven? How many souls were began -- and how many ended -- their spiritual walk in one of those congregations? How many billions of times has the Lord nourished souls through the services of those places of worship?
To paraphrase the folks from Thessalonica, "The folks the Lord is using to turn the world upside down have come to our town."
That's really quite a compliment, isn't it?
All of this leads me to say there are times when the news media shouts the story of some preacher or parish that did something wrong or sinful. I suppose that's their job. But I encourage you to remember that the Holy Spirit is still using His churches, His pastors, His parishes, and you.
We have been saved by the Christ, and it's our privilege to turn the world upside down. It's our job to serve billions and billions with the Savior's story of salvation.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, because Jesus has conquered sin, the devil, and death, my life -- along with this sad and sorry world -- have been changed. May I rejoice in what You have accomplished and do all I can, so the world may be turned upside down by the message of Christ crucified and risen. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries