So we are on our way somewhere in suburban Dallas when this work van pulls up next to us. I quickly snapped a picture, then pointed it out to my wife and some of our grandchildren riding along with us. I asked, “Wouldn’t it be great to work for bacon?”
That’s all it took to spark our imaginations. A granddaughter asked, “Who wouldn’t want to work for bacon?” I can almost smell bacon frying on the stove as I worked to solder copper pipe to fix a leak.
“How much bacon would it cost to fix the leak in your house?” My grandson added, “I helped the plumbers when they came to our house.” He’s considering that career path, although at age six, he may change his mind a few times. I asked, “How much would you charge to fix the AC?” He said, “A package of bacon!” “How about a BLT?” “No thanks, just bacon.”
“What if you get a free package of bacon every time you hire them for a repair?” “That would be great! The plumber comes to our house all the time.” This is true. My son has had a number of plumbing issues over the past year. A pound of bacon would take the edge off that flat-fee for just showing up.
It’s a win when your family name is the perfect marketing strategy. Who’s going to forget this logo-wrapped van? The next time there’s no hot water, someone’s going to say, “Call the bacon guy!”
While waiting for some work to be done on my car, I walked up to Panera Bread in St. Augustine to have breakfast, drink some coffee, and do a little writing. As I stepped up to order, I glance at the menu board, saw exactly what I wanted, and said, “I’ll have the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich.” Delicious.
The very young lady taking orders said, “We don’t have any bacon.” What? I said it out loud: “What?” I glanced at my watch. 9:00 am. And you are out of bacon? Wow, you’ve got some big breakfast menu problems! I settled for the ham, egg and cheese sandwich, but as we all know, it’s just not the same without bacon.
That moment brought to mind my visit to McDonalds a few years ago, when the window gal told me, “We don’t have no shakes.” Or when our home court Bob Evans restaurant who suddenly decided that raisins would no longer be a topping available for oatmeal. Or the morning they decided, “We no longer serve English muffins.” I’m sure someone at corporate, who rarely actually ate breakfast at a Bob Evans restaurant, decided there was money to be made by striking raisins and muffins from the menu.
And then I flashed back to a song my mom and dad used to sing at the piano when we were kids: “Yes, We Have No Bananas!” an old 1923 song from Louis Prima. That’s the only line I remember from the song. Back then, it was a number one hit for five straight weeks!
How in the world can you have no bacon on a Friday morning at 9 am? Come on, can’t someone make a run to Publix!
The thing most people will remember about my sermon today is “bacon.” I can tell because that’s what everyone mentioned to me on the way out. I talked about bacon in the context of dying to sin and rising to new life in Romans 6. I said that forgiveness can sometimes make us take sin too lightly. I compared that to the attitude that you can eat as much bacon as you want, and if your arteries get clogged, you can just get bypass surgery and be just fine. We forget how drastic bypass surgery is, and how hard the recovery is. Just ask anyone who’s been through it. In a similar way, sin is destructive, too. If you can avoid it, you do. Just look at the cross to see the consequences. The comparison made perfect sense to me. But I fear that all people will remember is “bacon.” After all, who doesn’t like bacon?
I’ve had a couple of other one word sermon remembrances, too. Maggots. Slut. Hell. You have to be so careful what you say. What might seem like a passing reference in an illustration might be the one thing your hearers remember.