A Youth Pastor Watches His First Season of The Jersey Shore Part 4 – We Watch Because We Are Bored

Yesterday’s post focused on the idea that if Jesus had not been raised from the dead, then the Jersey Shore life is a good option because in the words of the Apostle Paul himself we might as well, “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.” Today, I want to start with the simple question, “Why do we actually watch?”

Now, a few things to be clear. I am not calling for any type of a boycott of the Jersey Shore shore. If it fulfills your need of entertainment, great. And as the second post already mentioned, I do think it’s important that we take inventory of the messages we receive in our media, but I am not suggesting that the JS is the worst thing on tv  (but let’s agree that it’s not good quality television).  Today, I want to make the point that we will always have a Jersey Shore type of phenomena, Brittany, a Mel Gibson or Charlie Sheen, or some type of other pop-culture hype, controversy, or outrage. It’s not just money, it’s because as a society, we are bored.

The reason we are bored is because we struggle to find identity, meaning or purpose. As a result we pinball our way through the rat race of life. We bounce off of events into tragedies into triumphs into droughts of mundaneness that are interrupted by moments of transcendence. We search for hope, truth, and goodness and when they elude us, we look to escape the pain and emptiness by finding ways to escape.

And that’s what things like the Jersey Shore really are. I doubt most people actually want to be like one of them. People may envy their fame, money and newly acquired lifestyles but I doubt strongly that are a lot of guys out there who really want to be Mike “the Situation” or Snooki. This does not mean that they are terrible people but most people watch the show to be entertained by the mess or as others have put it, “to watch the trainwreck“.

No one wants to watch a show where people are reading, playing with their children and where their spouse is grateful when the dishes are done -even 80’s sitcoms were more entertaining.  Sadly, people want to see a girl barely 5 feet tall get punched in the face in a bar in Seaside.   But as the cruelties of life will show us, one day we’ll be laying on the dirty floor realizing that we are wasting our days with such meaningless things.

The resurrection of Jesus offers the abundant life, now and forever with the Lord. A life that desires to serve the world, the community, the home. A life that offers meaning instead of escape, hope in the face of evil, purpose in the vast emptiness, and salvation from death itself. And the good news is that it’s for every cast member, every tough guy, every sweetheart, everyone. May we continue to discover and enjoy the life that Jesus offers.

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