What’s Your Favourite?
As I was listening to a preach this morning on diversity and the value of all being welcome and invited, God started to speak to me through a picture of a box of chocolates- yes, I know! I wasn’t just sitting thinking about chocolate, which has been known to happen!
This was a tin of Quality Street, and when I was growing up these were considered a real treat (I sound so old saying that), something you might have at Christmas and the tin used to be very big, unlike the plastic tub you get today (see the picture below if you don’t believe me) and reminded me of a party in a tin as you opened the lid and saw the riot of colour and shape inside. The advertising slogan for many, many years was-What’s your favourite Favourite? because there was literally something for everybody in the tin. Stay with me!!!
I asked God why he was showing me the tin of chocolates and I felt I should look up the history of the product…
It turns out that there is quite a history to them and in the 1890’s John Mackintosh and his wife created a new sort of confectionery taking hard toffee and combining it with a runny caramel (never done before). They were so successful that they opened the world’s first toffee factory and after his death his son took over and created Quality Street in 1936.
Up until that point chocolate had been considered a luxury item and only the wealthier ate it, making it a bit exclusive and beyond the means of the regular man. So, he decided to wrap each individual chocolate in a shiny wrapper so they would be individual in the tin and therefore cheaper to produce, with less packaging required. This also involved inventing the first twist wrapping machine (I kid you not) to wrap each individual chocolate in its wrapper. What is really clever and a great marketing technique was the assault on your senses as you opened the tin. By using a tin, instead of a cardboard box, Mackintosh ensured the chocolate aroma burst out as soon as it was opened and the different textures, colours, shapes and sizes of the sweets made opening the tin and consuming its contents a noisy, vibrant experience that the whole family could enjoy.
In many ways John Mackintosh was a marketing genius and these chocolates were revolutionary! His other major marketing trick was his slogan-What’s your favourite Favourite? thus ensuring that they would be the chocolate of choice for families as there was something for everyone. Everyone has a favourite- don’t they?
Back to God and the reason for the picture…
Now the chocolates are all unique and individual in their own way and come wrapped in their own wrappers. There is a mix of flavour, texture and smell and yet they all co-exist in the same tin and look fantastic together and complement each other. As you lift the lid there is a wonderful aroma that comes up to meet you and you want to dive in and taste and see how good they are!
We are like the chocolates in that we all have our own flavour and unique look. We all come wrapped differently in our own wrapper and can co-exist together but more than just co-exist we were created to complement each other. The caramel swirl is not competing to try to be a hazelnut whirl nor a toffee penny because they don’t need to. Each is called to have their own flavour and identity within the family (tin). The fudge is never going to be ‘the purple one’ so it’s not even worth trying and that’s fine because there is something for everyone! So, we too are not meant to compete with each other as there is literally no point.We are better together because that’s where you get the variety and variety is the spice of life. It’s the picture of a diverse family.
1Cor 12:27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
Some of you, however, feel like you are the last one left in the tin after all the favourites are gone. Maybe today you are feeling like the coconut eclair or the toffee penny and you feel you are the least popular, unpopular and not really wanted. Or maybe you feel that eventually someone will want you because you are all that’s left and it’s just a process of elimination until they get to you.
Let me stop you there if you are having those thoughts right now!
Today hear the Father speak over you…
I have no favourites, because you are ALL my favourites. I created you unique and individual, I know you by name and I know all the hairs on your head. I don’t make mistakes so I created you to be you and when you understand your identity in me you need never worry about what anyone else thinks of you.
Matt 10:29-31 “What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.
Eph 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Back to the analogy of the chocolates and this is a picture of the church and how it should look. Just imagine if the doors to church were opened with anticipation by a people that perhaps had considered it a bit exclusive, beyond their means, but were to realise that it was indeed for the masses, families, individuals, you and me. As people looked in they could see all sorts of different colours, shapes, flavours and the overwhelming smell as the doors were opened was the intoxicating fragrance of Jesus-who could possibly resist? As Mackintosh put it…
‘A noisy, vibrant experience that the whole family could enjoy! Rowntree Mackintosh