Sermon Illustrations

MTV gave us our first ever "reality show", a thing called "The Real World" that came out in 1992. The first "Real World" cast sought to show us what happens when you put seven strangers in a house together, and quote, "people stop being polite, and start being real". And the world sat there, glued to their television screens --- stopping their own real worlds watching a real world on television, a real world that probably had little to do with their own lives, but for some reason, perhaps because of all of the hype, or because of the caustic nature of the relationships, or maybe just because of the camera angles - seemed like it was real.

Today, thirteen years into the future, despite declining viewership, MTV has jettisoned music videos in favor of reality television - a genre that the network at least popularized, if not created. And the great granddaughter of The Real World still gives us glimpses into the lives of others, the reality series, "True Life". Unlike the Real World, True Life doesn’t purposefully put strangers into a crucible so that their "true selves" will pop out. Instead, they take advantage of the crucibles that people are already dealing with in their own lives. Every True Life episode tells you immediately what the person is dealing with: True Life: I’m in a forbidden relationship; True Life: I have pushy parents; True Life: I’m a gay athlete; True Life: I have epilepsy; True Life: I’m breaking up with my religion.

In every case, these reality tv shows say that we’re looking for what is "real", a reality that in the end can only be fulfilled by the real God: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

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