State Farm Insurance Company has recently been using the theme song from the 80’s sit com Cheers to advertise its services on TV. “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” is the title of the song. The claim implied by using the song seems very ambitious for an insurance company with its clients.
The original purpose of the song was to capture the atmosphere of a quaint bar in Boston called Cheers. The small group of regular patrons formed an intimate community. The show portrayed the patrons seeing each other every day as they gathered around the bar after work to talk about life. For those who were alive in the 80’s and remember the show, the loud cry of “Norm” as “Norman” entered the bar assuming his position at the counter captures the essence of the song.
What Cheers Got Right
While the show’s values did not cohere with a Christ-centered life, the show did capture the desire of human hearts to be an intimate part of a community in which people know your name. And, they were “glad you came,” as the second line of the chorus proclaims.
God has created His people to be a part of a tight, intimate community that knows Him first through Christ and then enables us to know one another intimately. While ultimate “fitting in” will not be complete until we are home in heaven (as covered in a previous post), certainly we must do better than a bar in Boston!
Knowing Their Names, and Being Glad They Came
With Faith’s emphasis this year on Building Core Strength, a redeemed community of Christ followers must do better than any bar. My pastoral exhortation to each of Faith’s four worship services this year is to really work at getting to know one another so that we may minister Christ to one another.
Knowing starts with obtaining an individual’s name and being thankful for the opportunity to engage with another individual containing the life breath of God’s Spirit. You can’t do that if you are not at a worship service early enough to actually chat with somebody. So, come early and don’t sit down until you know the names of the people around you. Maybe even start using the British phrase “Cheers” to one another which we will all interpret to mean, “I want to know you more, starting with your name, and I’m glad you came.”