Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sesame Street & The Kingdom of God

This is a great post from Russell Moore on what the church can learn from the children's TV show Sesame Street, which turns forty this week. Moore writes:

Now, as I soon as I mention Sesame Street, I know some of you will balk about its educational value. You’ll point me to studies suggesting that learning the alphabet from singing puppets actually shortens kids’ attention spans. No argument here. But simply learning facts was never the primary goal of the program.

As the New York Times puts it, this was a “messianic show,” with a “mission” to remake the way children envisioned the world.

Moore explains this by using an example of racial integration:

Years before my Mississippi elementary school was integrated via busing, I’d seen African-American and Latino characters (such as “Gordon” and “Maria”) functioning as equal members of a society, on the television screen of my home.

“It’s almost too perfect that the first African-American president of the United States was elected in time for the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street,” the New York Times says. “The world is finally beginning to look the way that PBS show always made it out to be.”

Then Moore draws the comparison with the Church's mission:

What would happen if, whenever our culture saw love or reconciliation or peace, our neighbors said, “This is exactly the way that church always made life out to be?”

It's really worth reading the whole thing. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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