Friday, March 20, 2015

Story and Props: Pop Culture Liturgies


by Branson Parler ,  March 20, 2015   Off The Page



We all have stories, and the stories we share today are passed on through pop culture, such as TV, movies, ads, and social media. These stories shape us; they don’t just reflect our culture but project and create it. This series explore how these pop culture “liturgies” form our identity by teaching us what we should value, what should do, and how we should live.

This Part 4 of a four part series on Pop Culture Liturgies. Access the rest of the series here:



It’s been more than a year since the movie came out, but my two daughters can’t stop playing Frozen. They saw the movie, learned the songs, and know the story line. Even better, they’ve got props: the dress-up dresses, shoes, some kind of crown, and gloves (at least for whoever is Elsa).

Here’s the simple formula that shapes their imagination: story + props.

Now imagine something with me. Imagine that they never heard the story of Frozen. Would they use their play dresses, shoes, crowns, and gloves to play Frozen? They would not. They need the story to make sense of what they do with the props.

But imagine the reverse. Imagine they had no props. Could they still act out the story? Sure, but I guarantee it wouldn’t come to life in the way it does with their props. They need the props to imagine and act out the story. 

I think this simple formula applies to the Christian faith: story + props. In fact, that’s the liturgy Christians have to offer in place of the liturgy of McDonald’s, Lowe’s, and Friends. And what if God provided props that show us how to understand his story?

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