Originally scheduled for June 11
It’s one of those things that you recognize
instantly. Even if there was no lettering on the bottle, the shape
of the bottle tells you right away: it belongs to Coca-Cola. Even
aeronautical engineers make reference to it when they tell you that
the fuselage of a supersonic aircraft must have a Coke bottle shape.
That bottle is one of many millions of trademarks. A trademark can
be a slogan, can be a picture, can be almost anything as long as it
serves the purposes of a trademark.
It serves as a badge of origin — it
tells you what company made this so you can tell the distinctive
from the generic. It is some visible sign that let you know that
this was really made by Coca-Cola, not somebody who just happens to
have a bottling plant.
It is exclusive. You know that nobody
but Coca-Cola is going to use that shape of a bottle. It tells you
where it came from and that it came from nowhere else.
One thing it must be, however: it
must be sufficiently distinct that it is clear to its customers
where this product originated. A trademark which is confusing is no
trademark at all.
In a very real sense, communion is the
trademark of the church.
As a badge of origin it tells you
that the church originated in Christ. It is founded upon his
sacrifice, and marked by this particular ceremony. Communion does
not necessarily guarantee soundness of doctrine, but it does tell
you that you are in church.
It is exclusive. No other religion
bases itself upon such a ceremony. Christianity sees its founding in
the sacrifice of Christ. Communion, as such, would make no sense in
any other religion. The ceremony itself tells you it came from
It is distinctive, because it is so
simple. The bread represents his body; the cup, his blood.
Everything else is just a detail. There is no requirement for
silverplated communion trays; there is no requirement for a
particular variety of wine. Just, simply, the bread and the cup.
It is important to recognize, though, that
we are the church. So
I might ask you:
Do we, as the church, show where our
values came from?
Can the world see us as “exclusive” —
meaning “one-of-a-kind.” The church is not to be an echo, but a
As a trademark must be a clear
indicator of what it represents, we should be clear indicators that
we represent Christ to the world. We are ambassadors of
reconciliation and in this simple ritual we tell the world the price
paid for that reconciliation.
Therefore, examine yourself to see that you are
indeed a living trademark of Jesus Christ and his church. May the
world see Christ in you.