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The Nikon flashed and the blond dazzled while a famous tenor worked the crowd. Tickets were sold out more than a month ago though not everyone used theirs. Bravo! Great show! Midnight mass just isn’t what it used to be. At least the draw is of a different drummer today.

It seems the elders believe filling a church, selling out, requires showmanship. Something about the media and how people today are inundated by so much flash that the only thing that will catch the faithful’s attention is, well, more flash.

Methinks something is amiss. In a world drugged on ego and choking on its own vomit, there is little more precious than a celebration of spirit and, many or most of us hunger for an authentic source of direction. There were no less than five rounds of applause. The tenor’s microphone was set with more gain and volume than either the massive pipe organ or the angelic choir – yes, he was a prima don but who cares if it puts bums in the pews? Clap for the Wolfman.

Were many folks at home tonight wondering about the spirit of Christmas, Yule time, the meaning of it all and, critically, how to get a handle on the meaningful values they ought to be teaching their children? Or, are we all content with how to make easy but temporary points with an XBox PS3? Na, we all know that’s not where we want to go but we’ve been following the Sony brick road for so long, believing we’ll figure it out, eventually. A day arrives when we realize we’ve forgotten how to find the exit, or that we got on this road just for a quick escapist ride, a generation ago.

When the final applause faded, I was shown the church’s miracle jar by one of the ticket-holders – write your request on a little piece of paper with the golf-course pencil and then put some money into an angel bank with a nodding head, just like the bouncing-head doggies you see on dash-boards. So I did. She was surprised that I actually wrote the note, something about being humble enough.

I don’t know – it seems we’ve regressed so much in many ways. There was a time when the apostles needed miracles and lots of pre-press to get folks to come out and hear the word. That was a time when the brilliance of the scriptures and the genius of the parables was still being interpreted literally. People came for the show and were seeded with consciousness-lifting ideas that moved the world. So, we managed to reach a point when we were ready for more and instead of upping the ante, the church has instead panicked about declining numbers as in “holy shit we’re going to hell with a mortgage” and in desperation and fear have chosen a return to what worked fifteen hundred years ago.

So, they’ve got the paying crowds but are losing those already initiated. We need more light because we’re losing it, really losing it, and at this rate we’re going to end with nothing but a dim glow of 40 watt light bulbs. We have a better chance if we can get the 100 watters turned on too so there’s enough light to see the road.

If someone has an itch, give ’em a scratch. Seems simple enough and, it isn’t true that the show must go on.

glh

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Written by glh

December 25, 2010 at 02:06

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