Friends and Religious Community

The television show Friends remains one of the most watched shows ever on television. Running for 238 episodes over 10 full seasons the show is one of the few over recent history to have such longevity. I’ve often wondered what sets apart certain television shows from the other. What made Friends such a raving success compared to other shows of its time?

In Friends we see a community of otherwise unlike people (though not really diverse either, I admit) come together in order to share life with each other. Outside of the show being fairly funny (admit it, Joey and Chandler made you laugh), I believe its success comes from an interior desire of all of us to be able to share life in a similar, intimate way. I’d argue that on the deepest of levels we were made for life in this way. Lost in the recent debate of relationship vs. religion is that truth that relationship with God thrusts us into religious community for the sake of our faith journey.

It’s common today for people to say they are “spiritual but not religious.” Being religious has a stigma that goes with it today. Much of this is due to the crimes of religion in the past. Christians often have a relationship with Christ but do not practice religion, or so they say. Let’s consider for a moment how a relationship with God IS a religious practice due to the communal nature of the relationship.

Read the rest of the post over on Preston’s blog. I’m taking part in the At the Lord’s Table blog series and conversation, and I hope you’ll engage with it as well.

Here’s how Preston describes the series:

“The essential idea is that while we all have different perspectives on the Eucharist, on Communion, we all recognize it as the gathering of the one Body of Christ. Our myriad and differing voices come to the same table of the Lord and there we meet, discuss, and marvel at the beauty of the Church, warts and all.”