They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world John 17:16
Reality TV. Television in general. Talk about being of the world? It is inescapable how the calculating world of television drags you into it’s vortex. It tumbles your senses until you are so focused on the screen beaming a million electrons into your brain, the screen might as well be the size of your living room wall. All else falls away as if it never existed to start.
The phenomenon of shows about teenagers so starved for attention that they would allow film crews to broadcast their every smarmy thought and act is mind blowing. For a television actor to earn millions of dollar a week portraying a depraved sodden addicted character on a sitcom and then to be berated and obliterated for actually being that in real life? Does that even make sense? The hypocrasy of it all. Which came first? The character or the actual drunken drug induced sex addict? Does it even matter? Either way millions are earned because of it.
And for us to be on the sidelines offered many more tv shows made specifically for observing these train wrecks slowly crash and burn, even more stunning. I can report on this with authority having watched soap operas for several decades. The pull, the cliff hanger, the pacing, the blocking, the banality, it’s mind bendingly alluring.
Jesus left the glorious comfort of heaven to do his Father’s will. To meet everyone of us who are in the world. Glued to the world, spewing visceral nonsense and complaint and angst. To wean us from it, to turn us to God. To walk as an example of what God wants from us. Imagine the docu-drama that portrays the life of Jesus as a reality show. Getting slapped and turning the other cheek, not starting a brawl screaming obscenities, and then falling into a drunken stupor.
Imagine Jesus sitting with children gathered around him, calmly and lovingly listening and teaching them. Coaching their faith and pouring hope into their souls. Instead of bullying and sly asides, with hours of underwear jokes and badly drawn cartoons.
How do we leave this world while being immersed in it up to our eyeballs? “….just as..” The answer is in those two little words from Jesus’ recorded in John’s scripture. Just as Jesus came from heaven to this world and remained sovereign, did the will of the Father, loved purely and completely, studied, prayed, taught, so are we called. With the help of the Holy Spirit, turning to God every minute just as we go through the channels, shop at the store, endure traffic, stop the bickering, table the judgments and racisim, stow the obvious snarky comeback, resist the temptation to splinter the vulnerable, give absolution to the condescending…..
Because we were born again of the spirit, we are no longer of this world. Take the place holder of the world that we so desperately cling to and help us break the ties; just as Jesus did.
Strengthen our resolve to emulate your character in deed and in truth. “Come out from among them And be separate, says the Lord” 2 Corinthians 6:17a Give us the wisdom and knowledge and ability to do this Lord. To your glory Father.