Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Following Takes Place Between...


And so begins another stirring episode of the frantically paced action thriller "24". Uber covert super guy, Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), is the gravel voiced counter terrorism agent who saves the world each year in roughly a full day. With twists-a-plenty and trust in short supply, Bauer must navigate through the bad guys and the even badder guys on his way to a heart pounding climax where humanity is spared by the microscopic diameter of a gnat hair. And I love every stupid minute of it!

One of the great things about this show is how it packs so much important stuff into one day. I mean when was the last day the president was assasinated, weaponized biochemicals were released on the public, and the entire free world was on the brink of nuclear destruction? The Army used to claim that they did more by 9am than most people did all day. Jack Bauer could easily claim that he does more by 9am than James Bond, Rambo and the Army do all day... every day. Face it, folks, Jack Bauer is this generation's greatest action hero, and one can only hope there will be many "days" to come.

While pondering the latest episode of "24" I was struck by a suprising revelation. Most of our churches view Easter like a season of "24". We tend to look at this holiest of days like the Christian's Superbowl Sunday, but we fail to see the amazing story that leads up to the big game. Jesus wasn't some supernatural Jack Bauer who saved the world in a day. He was the God/Man who was born among us, lived in our culture, and ministered to the poor and oppressed before he ever saved the world. Instead of taking the time to really contemplate the Easter season, we tend to relegate it to a one day event marked by spiffy outfits and cheesy church dramas. We jump wildly from the incarnation to the resurrection as if Christ simply went from womb to empty tomb with no stops in between.

That's why I've decided to observe the season of Lent this year. Lent is a forty day time of sacrifice and remembrance. It marks Christ's 40 day wilderness temptation, and begs us to identify with Jesus by sacrificing objects or activities that may help us focus more deeply on the darkness that Christ endured on our behalf. I'm convinced that this observance enriches life and allows us to view Easter more as "24/7" than simply "24".

4 comments:

docsavage_ said...

Proof of your comparison of 24 to easter is that I stopped watching 24 after 2 seasons. It became a bit much. I just wanted to see the dude relax.

christian said...

HELLO So glad to hear someone referring to Easter for what it is rather than for the style show that insues. It's also refreshing to hear about Lent and what it means, and especially that someone observes it.

christian said...

Failed also to say that I, too, feel dramas can get a bit cheesy. Why not just use the Word for the Message so it's clear that it's just not someone's idea of the Truth!

Steve Hayes said...

Christian,

Please don't misunderstand me. I have written church dramas, and have participated in them. My problem is not that churches use dramas, but that dramas are reserved for "special" days of the year, and that they are not truly artistic in their presentation. Many of the Easter dramas that I've witnessed are poorly written and poorly acted. They're just poor in general.

That's not to say there's no such thing as a well written and well acted Easter play. It's also not to say that the Word is the only thing we should use in a worship service. The Word should be highlighted and prominent, but face it, most sermons are "just someone's idea of the truth!" The Word still has to be interpreted, and I've witnessed way more crazy interpretations of the truth from sermons than from bad dramas!