McRib is back!

November 10, 2008

What is it about the McRib? Pork scraps processed and pressed into a ‘rib’ shape, slathered in government grade sauce, pickles, onions on an oblong bun. De-lish!

The other night I saw the commercial proclaiming the McRib’s biannual return. I knew that my wife and I would be thus going on our biannual McDonald’s date – for her McRib, and my Quarter Pounder.

I have a theory. I think America has a very special and strange relationship with the McRib, more mysterious and mesmerizing than any other mass produced fast food product. People are always excited for the McRib to return – for a limited time only. People know they need to hurry out and get their fix on this special sandwich or be forced to wait another several months. I believe McRib holds a very special purpose in McDonald’s strategy to bring in repeat customers. While all their other products are ordinary, every day items, they have almost become passe. People will go to McDonalds for familiar food. But when McRib comes, they make a special trip – not because they are jonesing for McDonalds, but because it’s been six whole months that they have been deprived of that product. It gets people to come in the door an extra couple of times a year.

Americans don’t treat anything else like McRib. Familiarity is the problem with everything we can get 24/7/365. When something is around all the time, it isn’t special anymore. I guarantee people wouldn’t love the McRib if they could eat it everyday. People only love it for its scarcity.

Americans are saturated with Jesus like they are McDonalds. He is familiar, boring, passe. The Christmas story is an old one that holds no special aura or mystery or excitement to people. People do not bother to really know the greatness of the Savior behind the Sunday School stories they have heard for years. There are people across the world who do not have such privileges. They get to hear the gospel once, and they savor it for a lifetime! They do not get to gorge themselves on the Savior until they are tired of Him!

What a shame we treat Jesus like any old dollar menu hamburger when he really ought to be a McRib – exciting and new every time you experience Him. Even if McRib isn’t in your neighborhood right now, I hope people find Jesus in a new way this Christmas. Perhaps it will be in a familiar, lovely, nostalgic way, like finding an old friend again, but hopefully also a way that saves. Like actually being in love for the very first time. Or the first savory bite of McRib deliciousness.