Showing posts from December, 2010

Reality TV Nativity

The Nativity has been showing on the BBC, 7pm each evening this week - It has been great. Really good in fact, especially for a generation who haven’t been brought up with the story.They didn’t hear it at school, didn’t see it acted out in nativity plays, didn’t hear it read from family bibles or hear it sung in Sunday school carols.

For the post Christian generation, this series is better than we might have thought. Instantly accessible & attractive to the unchurched in a way that our more well known religious programming is not. No, I’m not knocking Songs of praise, but we’re still not sure who they really make that for, & still not certain who really watches it other than the initiated. About the Nativity, there is no doubt – this is the prime time, One Show slot, picking up all kinds of viewers who have never given any real thought to the Christmas narrative.

Their big hook is the romance, but with it some gritty realism thrown in. We’ve all seen the Christmas cards of Mary …

Happy Birthday Youtube! - Reflections on a shifting culture!

Youtube is 5 years old today! How is it possible that something so young has become so much a part of our normal lives?Do you remember when you used to wait for the news in order to see that clip again, or Match of the Day to see the goals? Do you remember having to watch ‘You’ve been framed’ on a Saturday tea time to see Grandma falling from the trampoline headfirst into the waterbut? Do you remember having to go into record stores to listen to songs that you might want to buy or waiting to see film trailers at the cinema?

The very fact that we can’t really remember life before Youtube proves the point. If you are looking for evidence of the ever increasing pace of technological advance & our reliance upon it, then Youtube is a case in point. Other than mobile phones, the advent of the internet itself & the phenomena of social networking - facebook, twitter et al - it’s hard to believe that any single idea has had a greater impact in shaping popular culture for post moderns ar…

Worship words

Think of the best love songs we sing, the crazy, heartfelt promises that we belt out as the chorus soars. The pledges of unending, unfailing, undimming devotion - If the promises whispered in ears during the last dance of the disco were all kept, we all would have married our first a matter of fact I did! Even there, we danced & sang to Whitney Houston 'I will always love you' at the reception.

We are no different in our churches, singing with genuine emotion & hands in the air each Sunday. This is our equivalent of the last dance, the big moment in the meeting when hearts are stirred, hope of changed lives dawns, brighter futures are promised. I wonder, if we really mean what we say in our Sunday celebrations? Doesn't there come a point where our devotion to our first love begins to overflow into an authentic live of worship?

Words are easy of course. We make promises to each other & to God in worship each week which are about as throwaway as a Lib …