Bringing the Text to Life

Give Us a Break 2 Thessalonians 2:13-3:5

When was the last time you took a "breather" from all those distractions that claim to be the most important concerns in life? Take a break from the din and listen instead to the voices of biblical and church tradition - our true "sponsor" whose words we should heed, despite the cacophony of advertising that tries to dissuade us from the tradition.

Remember when television shows were regularly interrupted by a velvet-voice announcing, "And now a word from our sponsors"? From there the programming moved into a seemingly endless commercial break - giving us all a chance to go to the bathroom, walk the dog, raid the refrigerator or put on our p.j.'s.

There was a comforting distinction between the programming and the commercials during those good old, three-network, primetime days. No longer. Now the dizzying number of channels and the ease of the remote control unit make skipping over any remaining traditional commercials a breeze. Of course, we can also turn on channels that are nothing but advertising: These are the "home shopping networks," the product demonstration shows, or even, as the FCC finally ruled, Saturday morning cartoons.

Yet the distinction between commercials and programming is actually far more blurred than we are even aware. Advertising is now everywhere we look, listen, walk, drive or eat. (With the advent of ...

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