Sunday, April 19, 2009

Finding the thing that connects us

I am watching the Mash retrospective on TV Land. The cast members from the 1970' television show are together again and talking about the show. MASH was on the air for eleven seasons and a big hit. I am really enjoying it. I was teenager when the show originally aired and didn't really get into it until it was in reruns in the 1980's.

I think what really set the show apart from so many others was the depth of the characters and the way it touched real life. They were believable. The show talked about the horror of war and its effects on people in a way that made many of us sit up and take notice. It spoke to us.

As I watched a few flashback scenes, it made me think about the ways that we reach out to the world today with the gospel. How do we present it so that people can identify with it? Jesus often spoke in parables. He used illustrations from every day life. He talked about shepherds and laborers and Samaritans and beggars. Whenever he mentioned a person or a situation it was one that people immediately understood.

I don't really watch American Idol or Survivor or any of the popular reality shows today. Recently I read an article that suggested preachers need to have the Bible in one hand and a copy of the magazine Entertainment Weekly in the other. Illustrations from popular media can help connect our audience with the deeper truths of God's word. Finding ways to do that with integrity will help us become a hit with the people we are seeking to reach.

We may never do what MASH did for television, but if we can get one person to understand just how much God loves them, then it will be worth the effort.