There’s a new TV show that is coming out on AMC, the same folks who brought you Mad Men and the Walking Dead. Except this time the story line isn’t about advertising executives or living in a post apocalyptic zombie infested world. Instead, it’s about a guy with a past who takes over his father’s pulpit in a small, arid Texas town.
It’s an adapted tale from a comic book, and so as a matter of course, the Preacher gets supernatural powers from a space alien. Along with the supernatural powers, he wears a supernatural cowboy-style-clergy-shirt that I’m pretty sure I could never pull off.
Add this to other television shows where a “preacher” is the protagonist of the story – “Father Brown’s mysteries,” “Father Dowling mysteries,” “Impastor,” and the amazing show “Rev.”, not to mention several terrible reality tv shows, and you get a pretty interesting picture of what people think of my job. All of them seem to revel in the way in which there is something divine that is encapsulated in someone who is undeniably human.
The thing is though, that this reality isn’t limited to those of us who wear strange looking black and white collars. We’re are called “priests” of God in the New Testament, and as such we are all people who have that “something divine” that is encapsulated in our undeniably human lives. That is what it means for us to be Christians, we are made to be priests.
A part of the opening action in this new “Preacher” show is that the pastor is essentially inhabited by a strange alien life force. Now the life force itself in the story is pretty far from the story of orthodox Christianity, but there is a similarity. When we are Baptized, we are all endowed with the life of Christ, given to us by His Holy Spirit. It’s probably not going to make you a comic book character, but it does put you on a pretty wild ride.
I’m not sure about this “Preacher” show. It could be interesting, but it appears to have the usual problem with excessive violence, sex, and swearing. But what I’m more interested in is the story that plays out every day among University Lutherans – the story of being a gathering of 85 undeniably human priests who are endowed with something divine, and given God’s Holy Spirit. Now that’s a story worth watching.