Dave Nichol died yesterday. You may or may not know who he was, but you will probably know something he developed. You’ll likely even recognize his handwriting.
Dave Nichol was the guy hired by the President of Loblaws grocery store chain to do product development. And the line he famous developed lives on today, in everything from chocolate chip cookies to online banking: President’s Choice.
Not a lot of people know Dave Nichol’s name. But a lot of people do recognize his ‘signature’.
What about us? Even if we don’t have a household name, what will people think of when they remember us? You might not develop anything famous that gets sold in grocery stores. But among your friends and acquaintances, you will be remembered for something. What will it be? What do you want to be remembered for?
Considering this sort of introspective question is a bit like writing your own death notice. If you’ve ever pondered that, you know what’s involved. If you were to die tomorrow, what would you want people to remember about you? What will have been your ‘signature’?
Think about Jesus. He’s remembered for his death and resurrection, of course, but if we scratch beneath that surface, we see the motive that sent him to the cross: self-giving love.
Take a few moments, and read the following passage slowly, perhaps more than once. When the apostle Paul wrote it, he may have been quoting one of the earliest hymns of the Christian church. What he was quoting wasn’t just good theology (and it is); he was citing something that could have been Jesus’ death notice in the Jerusalem Post back in the day, had it existed. (Of course, they’d have had to print the resurrection story three days later!) Ponder this as Jesus’ ‘signature’, what he would be remembered for:
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2.5-11, NLT)
You may not die for many. You may not rise from the dead. But will you be remembered for the same kind of self-giving love for which Jesus was remembered?