Monday, April 18, 2011

“The Need for Easter”

This week without much notice two more soap operas bit the dust; “All My Children” and “One Life to Live” will leave the air waves after more than forty years on the air. When daytime drama hit there prime in 1969 -1970 there were more than 19 daytime shows, now there are only 4. So what contributed to this almost sdistinction og daytime dramas? To answer we must look at the beginning, their origin. Day time dramas began on radio programs that were transferred into another media at the invention of television. They were written and produce by companies that sold household goods. The name "Soap Opera" got their name from the sponsors like soap manufacturers such as Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive and Lever Brothers. Their main target audience was mothers. Each show catered to the stay at home woman who fantasized about wearing expensive clothing, looking great all the time, socializing with rich people, or having a glamorized career such as a doctor, lawyer, or clothes designer. For an hour each day, instead of taking care of the children, doing house keeping, etc, woman could mentally escape to the lives and characters of those on the T.V. When woman began to leave the home and enter the workforce, soap operas took a little decline but bounced back during prime time. Recall Dallas, Dynasty, and who shot J.R.? Soap’s again made a slight rebound with the development of recording devices and satellite television. But neither could sustain their longevity.

But why have they disappeared? Soap opera’s have vanished because a change of several different social norms. First woman stopped staying at home and entered the workforce. They began to pursue the careers and lifestyle they watched on television. They were also not available to tune it. Ratings began to fall. Second, company sponsors no longer had the need to write and produce these shows to push their products if the woman were not watching. Third, soap operas were very expensive to produce, they employ many individuals, so sitcoms became more cost efficient. Sitcoms focused not on fantasy but on the struggles of everyday working folk. Sitcoms were eventually replaced with “reality shows” which are really cheep to produce as society desire is now to be entertained by real folks, not paid actors. Simple put people today have enough drama in thier own lives so they no longer view it as entertainment.

You may be asking why am I wasting time talking and describing the fall of soap operas. Who really cares? We as the church should because it could happen to us. The needs of the people have not changed, only their viewing choices. People need the church now more than ever. People need to hear the Good News that Christ has risen from the tomb. Yes, the tomb was empty. To some of us this may should like a soap opera is it truth. It is a truth that people everywhere desperately need to hear. Our method for connecting to Christ may be different and every changing but the message is still the same. No matter how much we have evolved as a society, the need to hear that the tomb was empty, to hear the gospel story, to understand how much Christ loves us is the same. We all need to hear that God is still relevant in our daily lives. No matter where we are in our life journey the need for God’s love is same. Unconditional love, salvation, forgiveness, mercy and grace are not commodities that diminish in time. We need to hear that death is not the end. Basically we might not need soap operas but we desperately need Easter.
May God bless you and open you up to a deeper understanding of unconditional love.
Peace and Grace,

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