I work closely with the marketing department where I work. About four years ago the department took on a massive project when our organization went through a stem to stern rebranding–new name, new logo and new mission statement. Even new colors were chosen. And man, are those babies protected. The colors are basically green and a brownish gray, but don’t think you can get careless and slip in a piney green and a reddish brown or a minty green and taupish brown. Nope. “The” colors are married to the brand in order to create a consistent look and message. It’s all about building the brand.
N.T. Wright wrote about the early church’s distinctive and practical expressions of love: “Love of this kind, reflecting (they would have said), God’s own self-giving love for them, was both the best expression of, and best advertisement for, faith in this God.”
Early Christians used love to advertise their faith, to set themselves apart and to “build their brand.” (And who’d want to compete with that? That’s a pretty solid “marketing strategy.”) But then, Jesus indicts them for forgetting the love they exhibited at the start. It’s like they forgot to protect the brand. They got careless. Maybe a little self-centered.
When I read Jesus’ accusation of the Ephesians, it’s not hard to take his words to heart. I need to examine my own behavior and motives. Am I displaying love in grand ways and in the mundane everydays of life? Am I building the “brand”?