"Glee" Syndrome

Maybe you’ve not heard of it, but the new TV show “Glee” is becoming mildly popular at worst, and has a cult following at best. It’s on Wednesday nights, but thanks to our friends at Hulu, I’ve been able to catch an episode. It’s a comedy/musical/show that looks at life within the fickle hierarchy of high school life, both from the student and faculty perspectives. The show shouts loudly “FREEDOM!!!” where teenagers feel imprisoned to perform their roles.

What’s humorously ironic, however, is how popular the show has become even among some actual high school students. This fact in and of itself reveals how easily we can detach ourselves from what we should be engaging in, and how consumerist even our entertainment is these days.

Example: “Teenager A” is one of the popular/unpopular kids at school. They watch Glee one night, and the show makes fun of the whole division between popular/unpopular and reveals the human worth behind both sectors, leveling the playing field quite well. They hear the call “FREEDOM!!!!” and their mouth waters. Teenager A returns to school the next day and picks up right where they left off, relating to Teenager B through the lens of a high school caste system.

Ironic as it is, I think it also presents a snapshot of an issue we face in the church. Consumerism. Approaching the church merely as something here to entertain me, inspire me, challenge me, and give me something to do….even towards God, allows it to remain about me. It’s very easy to approach a Sunday morning service, hear the shouts of “FREEDOM!!!!” take it in the same way we’d take in a tv show, and return to our lives of serving the systems and patterns we find ourselves in. The same systems Jesus Christ proclaimed our FREEDOM! from.

May we live as people who are engaged with the things we experience….whether it be a TV show that offers insight/reminders about life….or a Spirit-filled Sunday morning before the throne…

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