16th December 2023

Penny Lyon shares



Ways to get companies and their products noticed

I used to be the marketing director for a small design company; my job was to come up with ways to get companies and their products noticed and thought of in the best light possible.

We live in a world of noise - I'm not talking about juggernauts on the road outside our houses or the noise created by extra runways in airports - I'm talking about the noise we make in order to look bigger, better, busier, more successful, richer, happier than we really are.

And, of course, a quick glance at Facebook leaves us in no doubt that everyone else's lives are busier, happier and more interesting than ours.
Which leads us to a look at the arrival of Jesus.
The biggest, most exciting, most impactful event in the history of mankind.
I can't help imagining the marketing meeting in Heaven, in the run-up to His birth.

The marketing department will, of course, have laid on fresh coffee and pastries. Gadreel and Hadraniel, the two self-appointed heads of marketing are seated around a table with God:-

Gadreel: 'Lord, we've been looking at the marketing plan for Your Son arriving on earth. Can we run a few ideas past You?'

God: 'It's all pretty much planned, but what are your thoughts?'

Gadreel: 'Well, we've got a bit of a flip chart presentation here, and some thoughts about events leading up to His arrival.
Hadraniel, why don't you show Him your ideas?'
Hadraniel: Yes, we wanted to start by taking a look at the teaser campaign.
We've already got a lot of stuff that's been said by the old prophets, but we thought maybe we could freshen that campaign up a bit. What do you think?'

God: 'Yes I'm on that already. I've got a man called John the Baptist on the case.'

Gadreel (uncertain surprise, quickly closes the flip chart): 'John the Baptist? Hairy chap?
Lives in the desert and eats locusts?'

God: 'That's the one'.

Gadreel: He's err, quite umm smelly isn't he?

God: He's exactly right for my purposes.

Embarrassed silence - and then:
Hadraniel: 'OK, moving on from there. Now, we're working on the premise that this really is the biggest event in all history, and therefore budget is no object.
I have not worked up many ideas yet but wanted to just test the waters with a few initial thoughts to run past you, just to err, as I said... test the waters.
So we have some plans for light shows, a bit of pageantry, we thought maybe some angelic armies, choirs, comets, a couple of weather phenomena...'

God: 'He's going to be born in a stable.'

Stunned silence...
Gadreel (nervously): 'Born? Err... Right, right, yeah. Great idea.
Emperor travelling through with his entourage... no, actually I'm not really getting the 'stable' bit.
We're going to have to give a bit more thought to how we get the emperor's wife into a stable to give birth.'

God: 'Not an emperor actually.'

Hadraniel: 'Oh right! Great! What... err... what did you have in mind?'

God: 'A good man. Name of Joseph; and his fiancée Mary'.

Gadreel: 'FIANCÉE?!
You mean... not married yet? Who is this chap?
Is he some king spreading it around a bit?
There are some chaps of good blood who are a bit wild when they're young, but..'

God: 'No. He's a carpenter from Nazareth -
incidentally, you can keep the choir, I like the choir.
They can sing to the shepherds on the hill'.

Hadraniel, (weakly, head in hands): 'Shepherds?'

I could go on.
Throughout the birth, growing up, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus, He did the exact opposite of 'bigging it up' every single step of the way.
God incarnate, who created all of Heaven and Earth - lived, died and rose again as Jesus -
quiet, understated, gentle, with breathtaking humility and no attention whatsoever to a conventional marketing strategy.

For me, it's perhaps one of the greatest marks of authenticity in the Bible - written by forty different people, over a period of 1500 years and using three original languages.

Without the slightest nod to marketeers or advertising, it continues to be the number one, worldwide bestseller, outstripping other books by such a long way that most lists don't even bother to mention it,
Christianity spread like wildfire from those first years after Christ's death and continues to grow to this day in spite of oppression of one form or another in most parts of the world.

As I say, score: marketeers 0, - Holy Spirit 10.

I am Penny,
a Cotswolds-based musician and writer of this blog.
Together with my husband Kevin, and also, sometimes, our son James, I lead the Beacon Gospel Choir, a community choir we founded to bring the uplifting sounds of Gospel music to Gloucestershire and beyond.
From there, Out of the Ashes was born:
An original Christian and Gospel band, drawing on jazz, R&B, and blues with a ministry particularly focussed on those in the church who no longer fit into the church youth group
(ok then, 'grown ups!') and a message that "...God ain't done with you yet!"


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