From the Editor

And now, this brief message

Burma Shave might teach the church a thing or two

One of the Twin Cities metropolitan dailies ran a fascinating retrospective during March, celebrating the rise and fall of the familiar and much-beloved “Burma-Shave” roadside signs.

Some of us remember them. They gave you a short rhyme on four panels, each displayed sequentially on fence posts along highways. Each four-part message concluded with a “commercial” at panel five: “Burma-Shave.”

My favorite Burma-Shave message read: “Said Farmer Brown, who’s bald on top, ‘Sure wish I could rotate the crop.’ Burma-Shave.” (Not afflicted with baldness, that one reminded me of my father, who was.)

Burma-Shave is gone, and so are the signs (except some which can be found in museums). I think Lutherans could do effective evangelism with this concept. Maybe we could buy space on city buses and put the entire message, in Burma-Shave style, on each bus sign. Try these:

“We love you. We believe in grace — before you even wash your face.” Your Lutheran friends.

“You have your doubts? That isn’t rare. Doubts are okay. God’s always there.” Your Lutheran friends.

“You helped the poor. Are you a fool? Jesus did too, and he’s way cool.” Your Lutheran friends.

“We owe God tons, can’t pay the fee. Good thing God’s love and care are free.” Your Lutheran friends.

“Can’t climb out of that hole you’ve dug? Just ask a Lutheran for a hug.” Your Lutheran friends.

“Your bank account is getting fatter. Friends count. Money doesn’t matter.” Your Lutheran friends.

“Strife and conflict just won’t cease? Come and worship. Pass the peace.” Your Lutheran friends.

Get your friends together and write a dozen of your own. Then display them somewhere.