There was an avocado commercial during the Super Bowl. Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, and Eve took a bite of the apple; they noticed they were naked, so a gopher gave them an avocado.
The commercial cuts to a scene of modern-day New York. The radio announcer voiceover says “It’s a beautiful day in the Big Avocado!” as naked cabbies greet each other kindly, naked tourists in Times Square walk past a man wearing a sandwich board saying “The end is NOT near,” and Adam and Eve look up at a naked Statue of Liberty. Moral of the story/tagline of the ad: "Avocadoes make everything better."
Forgive me for sounding like an actual sandwich board, but this ad is the devil’s work. Not just because avocados can afford to spend $14 million dollars on a 60-second ad since they cost $2 a pop and are controlled by Mexican drug cartels, but because it highlights our modern approach to sin: Why repent and change your ways when you can change everyone else’s ways–God’s ways–to match yours, instead?
I mean, I get it. No one wants to spend their entire life feeling bad about themselves. A lot of Christianity has doubled down on the fire-and-brimstone, THINK-ON-YOUR-SINS approach, so it’s understandable that the pendulum has swung over to the other side. Let’s not think on our sins. Let’s ignore them – or, better yet, let’s celebrate them.
Call me unprogressive, but let’s not.
We’re not perfect. We never have been, and no matter how many pharmaceuticals/plant-based smoothies/James Clear books we consume, we never will be. And that’s okay.
It’s okay to not be perfect, to fall short of the mark; that’s the whole point of grace. But we need to seek out the right kind. Dietrich Bonhoeffer points out that “cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance,” and that’s what Big Avocado and the World are trying to sell us on.
But real grace – like guac – costs extra. I hope that’s a price we’re still willing to pay.
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