Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Reality shows and those involving public votes have become two of the most common genres of television. In the lead-up to Christmas there have been several programmes which owe a lot to the public vote, including 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here', 'The X Factor' and, of course, 'Strictly Come Dancing'. This last has hit the headlines more than once during this last series because of the public's determination to take a view that was at significant variance to that of the judges on occasion. Is it a show about dancing, or is it a show about popularity? The judges would inevitably, and rightly from their perspective, want to put the stress on the dancing. But the evidence would suggest that, in the end, it is more about popularity. But all the talk has got me wondering and asking: just what is the reality that the church represents? What are the really important things? What are the criteria on which we judge what is church? And where does popularity fit in? I want the church to be popular, but popularity can't have the last word.
Tuesday, 30 December 2008
One of the key things about church is being committed. One of my daughters has just wandered into my study, big smile on her face, her arms full of High School Musical memorabilia - 'look Dad, at all the High School Musical stuff I've got and this is only some of it!' Such experiences often leave me wondering whether we are as excited by all the stuff of our faith. In many ways commitment is not "in" these days - and yet football teams, pop groups, even particular brands have no difficulty in attracting followers. People want to show that they belong and they will go to considerable effort and expense in doing so. What is our equivalent of the High School Musical calendar, annual, CD, tee shirt etc.?