Jesus, Computers & Peace on 5th Avenue

I don’t think a commercial has moved me closer to tears than this one (and yes, that includes all of the Sarah McLachlan infused dog commercials).

I know, what a nerd, right? Who would cry over a commercial like this?

*hand goes up*

There’s so much wrong with Christmas now a’ days, and I think we’re starting to pick up on it. Linus’ prophetic line really hits at the heart: “Christmas is not only getting too commercial, it’s getting too dangerous.”

John Maynard

Commercial this. Commercial that. Buy this. Buy that. Black Friday deals for everyone. Shop 14 days straight on Amazon or go to the store where people have actually died in the pursuit of a good sale. Buy more than you think you can even afford. And then, of course, there’s red cups for some reason -_-

Even our good actions have become commercials. Recently I kept driving by a billboard in my city decked out with with patriotism’s religious symbols and pictures of police officers and firefighters with the words, “They give to us, now we’re giving to them.” The billboard went on to say that police officers and firefighters could have all the free coffee they wanted during November.

What’s the commercial there? “Look at the good things we’re doing. This is why you should drink our coffee.” I get it, after all I work in a church: “Listen to our testimonies! This is why you should support us!” Kind of a strike against ourselves at times given Jesus’ critique of the pharisees.

And sure, Microsoft made a commercial out of them doing a nice thing for someone else, but the heart of this one is a bit different.

It was Apple who years ago attacked Microsoft. After years of Microsoft really being the only thing anyone owned, suddenly Justin Long was telling us why we needed to own a Mac and why they were superior to PCs.

Since then, Apple has not just been a competitor, but has become the competitor and has helped revolutionize technology as we know it. We’ve all watched the fight progress since then and we’ve seen Microsoft strike back in their own commercials this past year or two.

Outside of that, I’ve had many a conversation with people debating what’s better: Apple or Microsoft. Some of these debates were playful, but there have been a few people who have surprised me with their intensity and perhaps even hatred.

But something is changing now. I remember watching the live stream of Apple’s last keynote and being surprised when they handed the mic over to some Microsoft employees with the statement, “And who know’s better about productivity than Microsoft?”

The audience’s response was hilarious. It sounded like church applause (“Wait, are we supposed to clap here?”). I think I even heard a few people laugh, certain that this was a joke. Then suddenly, everyone realized Apple was being serious. (Side note: They then went on to invite Adobe on to  the stage, which I also thought was a joke given the whole Flash debacle back in the day.)

And now suddenly, Microsoft not only decides to go and sing carols about peace to Apple, but they broadcast their humility to the world.

And in a moment, I’m pulled away from Facebook, and I realize I’m watching Jesus in action. Old feuds dissolving. The struck-ee turning the other cheek to be embraced with a hug instead of another slap. Peace on earth—even if just for a moment.

This is the upside-down kingdom of Heaven.


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