I have a day off today and this morning I was out running a few errands. While I was out I saw two signs, one on a gas pump at Sam’s, the other on a church marquee sign.
The sign at Sam’s said, “We will be closed on Easter Sunday.” To be honest, when I first noticed the sign, I was surprised. After all, in the list of commercial holidays Easters hardly ranks with Thanksgiving or Christmas anymore. It’s not typically thought of as a time to be home with family enjoying a turkey dinner and exchanging presents. Yet someone in that huge organization that is Sam’s Club caught the importance of the day and made the decision to honor it appropriately. The decision likely means foregoing millions in sales across the country to competitors who might not be so reverent, but the right decision was taken.
The other sign, the one on the church marquee said:
Yabba Dabba Dooooo
God Loves You
This sign, even though it appeared in front of a church, seemed to me to show a lack of reverence. I remember the phrase, “Yabba Dabba Doooo” being uttered by a rather oafish cartoon character named Yogi Bear. I also remember the story about some famous theologian, a man known for his deep thought and weighty scholarship, it might have been Karl Barth, who was being interviewed and was asked what the most profound theological statement he had ever heard was. He began singing the children’s song, “Jesus loves me this I know. . .” Yabba Dabba Dooo, was a joke, a cartoon tag line. I think it’s a measure of how secularized society has become, that Christians think they must trivialize one of the most important truths of our faith, one of the truths that society most needs to hear right now. It’s as if what a person might hear in church would be more acceptable if its not taken, or expressed, too seriously. It seems someone at that church is afraid adults won’t listen unless these ideas are expressed in a trivial manner, if they are expressed at all. Why would someone searching for truth be lured to a Christian church by a cartoonish tag ling. Why would someone make a commitment of his entire self to Jesus Christ based on the wit and wisdom of Yogi Bear?
Maybe I’m being an old fuddy-duddy, it wouldn’t be the first time anyone ever accused me of that. But, I think there might be a lot of people today who would welcome hearing the clear, unvarnished truth of the Christian faith. But, for that to happen, Christians have to start taking themselves seriously and believe that the message they bring is serious, even a matter of life and death.
So, today I saw two signs and I can’t help but think that the sign on the gas pump at Sam’s was the one that showed true reverence.