So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
I was in my early teens when a small Minneapolis-based company called Burma Shave closed up shop.
If you're my age or older, you remember the company. In all probability those memories are not so much of the product, a shaving cream, as they are of the company's advertisements. For those 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 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."
* Sometimes, they had a warning, like "Brother speeders, let's rehearse, all together, 'Good morning, nurse.'"
* Sometimes the ads were almost theological: "Passing cars, when you can't see, may get you, a glimpse of eternity."
Now Daily Devotioners may wonder why I mention those advertisements. It's not to do a devotion on the good old days, nor is it to get me a kickback from Burma Shave. It 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 for over 50 years. Those advertisements were a powerful thing. Good ads usually are. That statement is as true in the church as it is in the marketplace.
Look through Scripture and you will find numerous examples of those who were living, breathing advertisements for the Savior. Moses, the deliverer of God's people from slavery, served as a reminder of the work Jesus would do in rescuing us. John the Baptizer spent his ministry -- and himself -- preparing the world for the Savior and men's hearts for the salvation Jesus would win on the cross and at the empty tomb.
Now Jesus has, in His Great Commission, asked us to be His advertisers. In a world where Christians are being persecuted and martyred, where voices of criticism and complaint are constantly being leveled at the Savior's followers, sharing the Savior's story is a formidable task.
Even so, it must be done. In our actions, with our words, by our example we need to point people to Jesus who gave His life so all who believe on Him will have their sins forgiven and become members of the family of faith. This you probably already know.
But what you may need to think about is those small Burma Shave signs.
Even as those signs were extremely tiny, they still left a lasting impact. So, too, the small things we say and do have an eternal consequence for those who see them.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, let the big and small things I do glorify the Savior whose life was a sacrifice for my salvation. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries