Last Sunday they broadcast the Easter service from St Andrew’s Cathedral on Channel 9. Being commercial TV, the one-hour broadcast was interspersed with 16 minutes of commercials, including ads for psychic services and programs for ‘mature’ viewers later that day.
A number of people contacted the station to complain, but such is the world we live in these days. The Dean of the Cathedral commented that he didn’t think the programmers were being deliberately provocative or disrespectful, and if that is the case, it also says something about how people see church these days. The Easter message is just one voice amongst many in a world full of noise.
One of the blessings of the coronavirus, for some of us, is the enforced isolation that has given us the chance to reflect on what is really important. We haven’t been able to fill our lives with all the ‘usual’ noise that consumes and distracts us. We’re sitting at home with time on our hands (at least some of us are) and we have time to think.
We may be tempted to fill that time with more noise, but can I encourage you to make the most of the opportunity? It is easy, at the best of times, to sleepwalk through life – just letting the noise of it all wash over you. But now we can be forced to stop and ask: ‘What is really important to me? How do I make the most of all God has blessed me with?’ The book of Hebrews warns us: “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away” (Hebrews 2:1).
Many a soul has been wrecked on the rocks of distractions that come to us. Even as we attend church these days via the internet, it’s easy to tune out even if there are no ads to interrupt the broadcast. Or in the busyness of day to day life, especially for some who’d love some quiet, but face kids under their feet all day, the noise of getting through the day can keep us from time with our God.
Careful attention to what’s important is what Hebrews encourages us in, and what’s important does need careful attention – whatever else is going on.