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Lets face it:  sex sells and we’re buying.  Consider Sunday’s Super Bowl.

With $4 million per 30-second spot and the brightest world stage at stake, we were being hit with marketing’s strongest punch.  For many, their best idea was to appeal to the basest level of human desire – sex.  Stick a scantily clad person or provocative image next to anything and suddenly the lust is linked to the product.  It’s quick.  It’s easy.  It’s effective.

Amidst all of the glitz and thrusting pelvices (pelvi?), one commercial went beyond the base urge of the body and went toward something much deeper – the heart.  The main actors were clothed in layers.  The most skin was the worn hands and broken fingernails of an elderly farmer.  The soundtrack was an old recording reminding us of hard-working people who impact what we take for granted every day.

What we felt after watching a simple commercial about farmers wasn’t lust.  It wasn’t humor. It was gratitude.

Matthew 9:35-38 says, “When (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers...’”

When we see people duped into watching an electronic box for the sake of a sexual emotion, we can get angry or we can pray.  Like Jesus, we should see these advertisers and consumers compassionately as sheep without shepherds.  We should pray for harvesters – spiritual farmers.

The effectiveness of this commercial should show us consumers, teachers, ministry leaders and parents that it is not always the easy or “sexy” way of communicating that has the most impact.  Ministry, discipleship, spiritual disciplines and life in general are not quick or “sexy”.  Discipleship requires dirty fingernails.  People require time, sacrifice, investment and patience.

But at the end of it all, it’s not the quickest or sexiest that lasts or grows.  It is the hard work that yields the greatest produce. Let us pray for more farmers of the gospel and respond with gratitude to those who sow the gospel among us.