By Msgr. Charles Pope • November 10, 2017
Consider the commercial below. It says a lot about how we can conceive of Christ, and the desire of some to refashion Him. Perhaps we do well to look at it by analyzing the dramatis personae (cast of characters) and weaving in the plot.
As the scene opens there are three women who come upon a car belonging to one of them. The car has been damaged and this little crisis sets the stage for the different notions of the sort of savior who is needed. Let’s look at each person in the drama and see what we can learn:
The woman in the center is a sensible Christian. She is the owner of the car. She is unfazed by the damage to her car; she knows exactly what to do. She summons her insurance agent, who appears as if out of nowhere. She trusts him to handle everything and even encourages her friends to call on him.
The insurance agent is a Christ figure. He wears a red tie, reminding us of the blood that was shed for us. He has a book in his hand in which everything is recorded. He arrives not only to bring help but to make a judgement. He consults his book and gets to work (cf Rev 20:12ff). His name is Rich; Christ is surely “rich” in grace (cf 2 Cor 8:9). Later on in the ad he will rebuke the darkness.
The woman on the left is a worldly Christian. Although the Christ figure stands in her midst, she ignores him, wanting to see if she can come up with her own helper, a savior of her own making. It would seem that Rich, the Christ figure already standing there, does not suit her fancy. She wants one who is cute and more “sensitive.” An unchallenging agent is what she wants, one who will be more soothing, surely not one dressed in a business suit (as is Rich, the Christ figure with the red tie, who means business).
The woman on the right is a carnal Christian. She is lustful, impetuous, and daring; she wants a man who is similar. She hardly notices the Christ figure, except to reject him with a sneer. She calls for her “savior,” one with a dark side, and he appears on the scene. He is a rogue, a thug; lustful, arrogant, irresponsible, and immature. He is the perfect projection of her carnal, lustful, fallen nature, and you can see it by the look in her eyes.
In the background, the Christ figure just keeps on working, as if to say, My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working (Jn 5:17).
Now the carnal thug is sitting on the car. Not only is he not helping, he’s making things worse. So the Christ figure says to him, “Hey, Darkside, get your feet off the car.” It’s as if he’s saying, “Be gone, Satan.”
Yes, there it is: the light rebuking the darkness. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
Which one are you in this story: the carnal Christian, the worldly Christian, or the sensible Christian? What sort of a savior are you looking for?