‘New and improved’

Published 5:32 pm Monday, May 13, 2019

New and improved is a fairly common advertising phrase. I’ve never heard it without remembering the great shampoo story — the advertising team was brainstorming a new shampoo ad to increase sales. Everyone was throwing ideas out onto the table until one participant threw out the winner. He suggested they simply add one final line to the directions and promote it in the ads — “repeat.”

So the directions on your shampoo bottle now read, “wet hair, lather generously, rinse, and repeat.” It doubled the sales of shampoo. Sometimes “new and improved” is simply “old and repeated.”

Sometimes it’s dramatically new and improved. Did you know this is the 50th year anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon? The Saturn V rocket was 363 feet tall and  the Apollo spacecraft carried a crew of three — Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin. 

NASA’s public relations department wanted a live broadcast of that first moon walk, but the equipment had to be good enough to do the job and small enough to fit into the space craft. It didn’t exist at the time. Scientists argued that developing the broadcast equipment would take away from the main mission to reach the moon. It was finally decided that the live broadcast was as important as the mission itself, and they began working to create the new and necessary equipment for the broadcast. 

The very first verse I read as a Christian was from 2 Corinthians 5. 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 

Maybe you were one of the estimated 500,000 million people from around the world who watched that first step onto the surface of the moon and heard Neil Armstrong say, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind!” 

We’re still in the Easter season, and while we’re talking about old and new, let’s hear from John in Revelation 21. 

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth. The first heaven and the first earth disappeared, and the sea vanished. And I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared and ready, like a bride dressed to meet her husband.”

After God created a new world in Genesis 1 and 2, it only took one more chapter for Adam and Eve to make it old in Genesis 3. Now our only hope is for Jesus to come back and make it new again.